Dish Network recently announced its upcoming plans to reboot its Boost Mobile Service and promote the launch of its new 5G network, starting in Las Vegas, Bloomberg reports.
“Come fourth quarter, you’ll start to see some of these pieces come together in loud way,” Stephen Stokols, chief executive officer of Dish’s Boost Mobile unit, said in an interview.
The Boost Mobile reboot is Dish’s attempt to reach potential high end and low-end customers. Boost is a lower price option that’s popular with people with less than stellar credit and will continue to be available for bargain shoppers. Meanwhile, Dish’s 5G service will be targeted towards competitors’ “bedrock” subscribers.
“Dish needs to dramatically and significantly break the model,” Entner told Bloomberg. “They’re not going to do that just by offering a $5 to $10 cheaper price. I’m looking for something radical.”
Dish’s wireless network rollout has been in the works for years. The company has spent that time purchasing airwaves, hiring leaders and gaining partners to support its efforts, Bloomberg reports. Analysts have said Dish’s spectrum holdings have surpassed the company’s value, which is currently about $34.4 billion. Dish has signed Amazon and Dell as key suppliers to provide cloud-based computer services. The company’s wireless services gained national reach after it entered a 10-year, $5 billion network-sharing agreement with AT&T.
Boost currently has approximately 9 million carriers. It will attempt to market its prepaid mobile service to people have more expensive “postpaid” or monthly service plans. Las Vegas will be the first of several cities that will receive Dish’s 5G service. The company is also expected to offer its own 5G Android phone, Celero.
Dish positioned to become U.S.’s fourth carrier
Dish co-founder Charlie Ergen has long wanted to challenge the top wireless carriers in the U.S., Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. After T-Mobile officially acquired Sprint last year, the U.S. Department of Justice wanted a fourth carrier to fill the void that Sprint left. Dish agreed to take over. It purchased Boost, which gave it entry into the wireless industry. Meanwhile, Dish focused on building a new cloud-based, 5G O-RAN (open radio access network) that it expects will surpass the other carriers’ technology. Dish approximated its network building cost at $10 billion.
The company ultimately plans to sell 5G applications to industries such as manufacturing and superfast mobile connections to customers, Bloomberg reports. Dish still has its work cut out for it, however. The company’s 5G construction is currently more than two years behind the other major carriers. Dish also doesn’t have the other carriers’ scale or resources.
“Dish’s biggest challenge is getting its network built and providing adequate coverage with reliable service across the vast U.S. geography,” Tammy Parker, an analyst with GlobalData told Bloomberg. “That takes money and time, two things that Dish may not have enough of.”
Joe Dyton can be reached at email@example.com.