Dish Network’s wireless subsidiary Boost Mobile is now offering privacy and encryption tools to customers of its low-cost phone service — but they’ll have to pay to get them.
This week, Boost introduced a new bundle of privacy tools that allows users to connect securely to open Wi-Fi networks, protect against identity theft, reject spam phone calls and transcribe visual voicemail messages.
The bundle costs $6 a month and is currently only available to Android phone users.
In recent years, wireless phone service providers have explored a variety of different perks in an effort to draw new customers and keep existing ones, including weekly giveaways and bundling their phone plans with streaming TV subscriptions.
Boost is now starting to take the same tactic, but instead of bundling their service with Netflix (like T-Mobile does) or Disney Plus (like Verizon does), the company is exploring service-based options, starting with the privacy bundle.
“There’s a huge concern or growing concern of our customers, our base and those we’re going after and to expand to, around privacy,” Stephen Stokols, the chief executive of Boost, told the website Fierce Wireless.
Boost is trying to capitalize on recent reports concerning privacy and data tracking by offering its Android phone users a way to opt out of these situations, as long as they’re willing to pay for the privilege.
“We’re offering anonymous browsing, we’re building a sort of VPN capability that allows you to kind of mask a lot of the data that gets shared,” Stokols said.
The executive hinted that a digital banking product may be offered in the future. Though no specifics were given, at least one other wireless phone company — T-Mobile — has offered its customers a digital checking account, though the telecom doesn’t actively market it.