Debating the Impact of Sprint's Boost Unlimited Service

Just how much of a threat is Sprint’s (S) new $50 prepaid Boost Unlimited plan for all-you-can-eat voice and data service? That question is particularly important to the companies Sprint has clearly targeted with the new offering: Leap Wireless (LEAP) and Metro PCS (PCS).

And it is a matter of no small debate.

William Power, an analyst with Robert W. Baird, this morning upped his rating on Leap Wireless to Outperform from Neutral. He notes that the stock has sold off almost 30 percent since Jan. 6, largely on concerns about the competitive threat from Boost Unlimited. But Power contends that the concerns are overdone. He contends Leap and Metro PCS have competed effectively with past Boost offers, that having an additional “unlimited” player in the market could boost the overall market and that Sprint plans to focus Boost in particular on markets where it has excess iDEN capacity. Power also says he continues to think a merger between Leap and Metro PCS is likely at some point.

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