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Dish Loses 363K Subs Amid Warnings of T-Mobile 3G Network Shutdown

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Results show that Dish has lost 363K wireless subscribers from its Boost Mobile MVNO arm in the last quarter.  Also, the company has warned of further subscriber churn based on T-Mobile’s notification.

T-Mobile has notified Dish of its plans to shut down T-Mobile’s 3G CDMA network by early next year. As confirmed by Dish, T-Mobile will shut down its 3G CDMA networks starting 1st January 2022.

Boost Wireless, Dish’s mobile MVNO has been losing subscribers for quite some time now. Third-quarter results show that Dish lost 212K subscribers then. In fact, the churn rate in the fourth quarter has climbed to 4.88%.

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With the T-Mobile and Sprint merger being finalized in July last year, T-Mobile has been shutting down stores as well as some sections of its networks.

As part of the merger deal, Dish Wireless had purchased Boost Mobile for a whopping USD 1.4 billion last year. Since then, Dish has been running Boost as a mobile MVNO on T-Mobile’s network.

In August last year, Dish had also acquired around 200K subscribers from its takeover of Ting Mobile. By the end of last year, Dish had around 9 million wireless subscribers.

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However, as explained by Dish Wireless, not all wireless subscribers are beneficial to the MVNO business. In its quarter-four filing, Dish explained that high data usage customers are not exactly profitable for an MVNO business model.

As per analyst reports, it is apparent that Dish wants to follow the same strategy it uses for its pay-TV business. It seems that Dish accepts a high churn in favor of short-term cash gains by cutting costs and reducing subscriber acquisition.

Dish Expects Further Subscriber Loss this Year Due To T-Mobile 3G Network Shutdown.

In its quarter-four filings, Dish has also confirmed that most of its retail wireless subscribers are using the T-Mobile 3G CDMA network. With T-Mobile announcing to shut down the 3G CDMA network, Dish will have to make alternate plans.

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As a Boost Mobile subscriber, this is not good news. Switching over from a  CDMA network means that subscribers will have to switch to a new device, with a new SIM card.

Dish also understands that these measures to switch over from CDMA to its upcoming 5G network would result in significant subscriber losses.

As a matter of fact, Dish has acknowledged as much in its 4th quarter filing. The company has stated that they expect a significant increase in the churn rate as more and more subscribers choose to opt-out.

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