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Boost Mobile, the wireless carrier known for its prepaid plans, has opened a new Valparaiso store by Walmart as it looks to boost its presence in Porter County.

Boost Mobile already saturates the market in Lake County with stores in Hammond, Munster, Griffith, Schererville, Whiting, Cedar Lake, East Chicago, Gary, Hobart and Lake Station, with multiple locations in some of those communities. The wireless carrier, which requires no long-term contract, has been expanding its role in the marketplace beyond the niche demographics it originally served.

Boost Mobile, which along with Metro PCS is one of the few wireless carriers that don't lock customers into multi-year contracts, has been making inroads into new demographics because of low pricing on iPhones and other smartphones. Now it's looking to expand locally in Porter and LaPorte counties, Taylor said.

"We're looking at several new locations in markets like Chesterton and Portage," said Ran Taylor, the CEO of Boost Mobile stores in Northwest Indiana. "We're pretty well saturated in Lake County with dozens of stores in Hammond and East Chicago."

The newest store opened around Thanksgiving at 1270 Strongbow Center, by Planet Fitness outside the Walmart on the east end of Valparaiso. The 1,000-square-foot store employs three and is hiring more.

It carries iPhones and phones from Samsung, LG, and Motorola, sells Boost Mobile plans for both iPhone and Android, is a payment center for the company, and offers a way for customers to sign up for Xfinity cable and wifi through Comcast.

"Our other location in Valpo has demonstrated a huge demand for our product," Taylor said. "There's plenty of traffic right there, and the iPhone demand is just high right now."

Boost Mobile will look to locate its new stores in high-traffic areas, ideally near grocery stores or Mexican restaurants that draw passersby.

For more information, call the new Valparaiso store at 219-501-8000.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.