Dish drops another 210K wireless subs in 2Q

Dish can’t seem to stop losing wireless subscribers. The company dropped another 210,000 retail wireless net subscribers in 2Q 2022, bringing its total number of wireless subscribers to 7.87 million. The company has now lost 1.1 million wireless customers since it entered the wireless business in August 2020 with the purchase of Boost Mobile’s MVNO business from T-Mobile for $1.4 billion.

Dish purchased Boost so that it could offer a retail wireless product under an MVNO arrangement while it built its 5G standalone (SA) network. In mid-June Dish launched its 5G service, called Project Genesis, in more than 120 markets and now covers about 20% of the U.S. population with its network.

Of course, Dish did encounter a major obstacle when T-Mobile notified the company of its plans to shutter its legacy CDMA network. After a couple of delays, T-Mobile’s 3G network went offline in May which meant that Dish had to aggressively move Boost customers off the CDMA network.  

Although Dish continues to lose customers, the 210,000 wireless retail net subscribers that Dish lost in 2Q is an improvement over the 343,000 that it lost in Q1 2022 and the 245,000 wireless retail subscribers that it lost in 4Q 2021.

In addition, Dish reported a wireless churn rate of 4.39% for 2Q, which is an improvement over the 4.64% churn rate it reported at the end of Q1 and a decline from the 4.95% it reported in 4Q 2021.

Dish is attempting to stop its losses by attracting more customers to its Boost MVNO with discounted plans. In late June it launched a $25/month “forever” unlimited plan. The only caveat is that customers have to sign up for autopay to get it. Boost said that the unlimited plan is less than 50% what consumers pay for the same 5G plans with other carriers.

In addition, in November 2021 Boost introduced a $100 per year plan that provides customers with 1GB of high-speed data per month plus unlimited talk and text.

Dish reported overall revenue of $4.21 billion for 2Q, compared to $4.49 billion for the same quarter in 2021. Net income was $523 million for 2Q, a decline from $671 million in the same quarter a year ago.