As part of T-Mobile’s contentious mega-merger with Sprint, one of the Federal Communications Commission’s stipulations was that new T-Mobile would have to sell off some its holdings, including Boost Mobile. And today, in a deal worth $1.4 billion, Boost Mobile’s new owner Dish has finally begun its attempt to become the U.S.’s fourth nationwide wireless carrier.
Dish claims that Boost has more than 9 million subscribers, which is paltry compared to the 100 million+ customers who subscribe to Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile each. It’s going to take quite some time before Dish/Boost becomes a true rival to those three carriers.
For years, Dish has been dancing around the idea of entering the wireless market by purchasing slices of the wireless spectrum as far back as 2013, but up until now, Dish hasn’t actually tried to turn its spectrum into a real network. In addition to purchasing Boost and its assets, Dish’s $1.4 billion deal also includes an agreement that allows Boost to piggyback off of T-Mobile’s network for the next seven years as Dish works to finally build out its own wireless network.
“This marks an important milestone in Dish’s evolution as a connectivity company,” Dish CEO Erik Carlson said in a statement about the deal. “It positions us well as we continue to build out the first virtualized, standalone 5G network in America.”
To celebrate the closing of the deal, Dish has created an updated logo for Boost (seen above), and is launching two new phone plans that will be available July 2. The first plan is Boost’s new “$hrink-It” plan, which offers 15GB of wireless data for $45 per month, with a $5 discount after three consecutive on-time payments, and then another $5 discount after six on-time payments. A slightly cheaper plan offers 10GB of data for $35 a month.
In the end, while it’s nice to see Dish/Boost filling the role of the nation’s fourth wireless carriers, it’s going to be a while until Dish presents a real threat or meaningful competition to MaBell, Big Red, or New T-Mobile.