The knee-jerk reaction to Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg's recent inflammatory interview
-- saying he doesn't know "what Sprint thinks it is" in response to Boost's blowout $50 all-you-can-eat calling and texting plan
-- was to call him out for slamming competition (because, let's be real, no one likes executives hating on affordable stuff). His belief was that Sprint simply didn't have the network capacity to support a plan priced that aggressively because it'd bring too many new subscribers on board, and drama over on the iDEN
airwaves suggests he may not have been too far off the mark. Boost resellers and customers alike are apparently experiencing insane text messaging delays -- sometimes several hours' worth between sending and receiving -- that are rendering the service useless, and while voice and push-to-talk are still said to be performing flawlessly, a strong swing toward messaging in the past 18 months across all US carriers (along with the upcoming launch of the Clutch
) puts the spotlight squarely on the problem.
Texting has never been iDEN's strong suit; it's simply not what the network was originally built to do, and when we approached Boost about this at CTIA
earlier this year, we were told that the situation was under control. A company spokesperson says that they're working around the clock to get the delays resolved and expect to have it smoothed out by next week -- but with the $50 plan continuing to win conquest subscribers hand over fist and a network that's being stressed in ways it's never been stressed before, we have to wonder: is this every going to be fully resolved? Even more importantly, though, with Boost's pricing undercutting its national-level competition by a country mile, do they even have
to fully resolve it to keep customers on board?