Boost acknowledges being 'overwhelmed' by unlimited texting, promises fix

Customers and dealers have been voicing their concerns about text messaging delays while using Boost Mobile's unlimited $50 voice and data plan, according to an Associated Press report.

Customers and dealers have complained that text messages often arrive hours late, sometimes in the middle of the night, according to the report. Boost, Sprint Nextel's prepaid unit, launched the service in January, and has touted the success of the unlimited talking, texting, web browsing and walkie-talkie offering.

The service has also come under fire from another high-profile critic of late: Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg. Seidenberg, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, indicated that he thought Sprint did not have the network capacity to handle the massive amounts of data that the Boost plan would put on its network. "I don't know what Sprint thinks it is," he said. Boost runs on the Netxel iDEN network, not Sprint's CDMA network.

John Votava, a spokesman for Boost, told the AP that the texting problems are simply the result of the influx of new customers, and denied that there are long-standing problems with the Nextel network. "The popularity of Boost Mobile caught us off guard. It overwhelmed our system," he said. Boost has been working "day and night" to address the concerns, and is looking for the system to be "much improved" by next week, he added.

The Boost plan is expected to be one of few bright spots in Sprint's first-quarter report, due Monday. Analysts expect Sprint to announce that Boost attracted around half a million subscribers to the carrier in the quarter. However, those additions will most likely be offset by large numbers of postpaid subscriber losses. 

For more:
- see this AP article
- see this Sprint earnings preview

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