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Boost partners with Barnes & Noble to target college students

Boost Mobile, the prepaid division of Sprint, has teamed with Barnes & Noble to target college students, letting them add money to their account at the same time they buy textbooks.

Barnes & Noble College Booksellers is now selling Boost Mobile Re-Boost Cards in many of its college bookstores on campuses across the United States. By letting students add money to their accounts without leaving campus, Boost Mobile is hoping to become increasingly attractive to college students seeking mobile phone service with no contract.

"Boost is expanding its target to include the college customer segment," said Kelly Owens St. Julian, chief service officer at Boost Mobile, Irvine, CA. "Boost is expanding our marketing efforts to the college segment by partnering with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers as they are a leader in college campus networks nationwide."

Based out of Basking Ridge, NJ, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers is a privately-held sister company to Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest bookseller.

Barnes & Noble College Booksellers serves more than four million students and more than 500 of the nearly 700 stores they operate will carry the Re-Boost Cards.

Boost Mobile is a division of Sprint Corp. that offers wireless phones and services with no contracts, credit checks or activation fees.

Boost Mobile offers service in 17,500 cities nationwide on the Nextel National Network with no additional telecom taxes, activation, roaming, traveling or long distance fees.

Boost Mobile offers a selection of handsets from Motorola, as well as calling plans that enable customers to pay by the minute, day or month.

Boost-branded wireless phones are available nationwide at nearly 20,000 major retail stores, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Walmart, Sprint retail stores and independent wireless dealer locations.

Boost Mobile promotes itself on the Web at and via MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Boost and Barnes & Noble have jointly launched an integrated marketing plan, which includes Web advertising, on-campus advertising, freshmen orientation programs, café marketing and print advertising.

Mobile and SMS advertising may be considered in future phases, according to Boost Mobile.

Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited service offers unlimited anytime calling, text messaging, mobile Web and Boost Walkie-Talkie service with a national calling area for a flat rate of $50 a month.

"The Boost $50 Monthly Unlimited offer is well-aligned with the college students' calling needs for a flat and predictable monthly rate," Ms. St. Julian said.

"The Monthly Unlimited plan is attractive to this audience due to our nationwide calling, no contract, unlimited text/Web/walkie-talkie, all for only $50 per month," she said.

Because of its pricing structure, Boost Mobile and other prepaid carriers and MVNOs have done well despite the recession.

"Boost Mobile provides a recession-proof no-contract Monthly Unlimited nationwide calling plan," Ms. St. Julian said. "It is a perfect option for consumers who are tired of contracts, credit checks, hidden fees and are looking for the affordability and predictability offered through plans such as Boost Mobile's $50 Monthly Unlimited plan.

"Overall, the prepaid, or no contract, wireless market continues to expand in the U.S." she said. "The U.S. consumer is looking for flexible unlimited nationwide calling solutions that provide post pay-type options without contracts or credit checks.

"Boost provides the ideal option for wireless customers to have unlimited fixed-cost nationwide wireless service each month."