DISH Wireless is Changing its MVNO Strategy in 2022

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Becoming a name in the American wireless industry continues to move in a positive direction for DISH Wireless. Now, the fourth major wireless provider in the country is introducing new paths for its prepaid customers to transition into postpaid subscribers.

Although DISH Wireless is yet to unleash its 5G network, DISH is in charge of three MVNOs. Boost Mobile accounts for the overwhelming majority of the ~9 million or so subscribers through its Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless brands contributing hundreds of thousands of their own. In 2022, DISH Wireless is looking to provide upgrading options that will allow prepaid customers the opportunity to become postpaid customers.

Many prepaid customers are subscribers with less than perfect credit. These plans require payment before services are rendered. By contrast, postpaid plans provide service before receiving payment. There continues to be a move by prepaid customers into postpaid services and DISH Wireless is looking to take advantage of this opportunity. Postpaid plans produce more revenue for wireless companies and provide additional ways to create revenue. One intriguing option is the ability to finance wireless devices for customers.

“There is a big (transfer) from the prepaid category to the postpaid category. You’re seeing that happen more from a macro perspective, lots and lots of people from prepaid moving into postpaid, based on the economic realities that you’re seeing in the country,” said Peter Osvaldik, T-Mobile’s Chief Financial Officer.

Driving revenue is important for any business but as DISH Wireless is still spending capital on its 5G buildout, these early steps are going to help set the stage for years to come. Deploying a 5G network takes a considerable amount of time and money. DISH Wireless is on a sharp timeline to cover 70% of Americans with 5G by 2023 or face a fine of more than $2 billion from the government. Losing a couple of billion dollars is never ideal but it is amplified by the goal DISH Wireless put into place of building its 5G network with a budget of $10 billion.

The timeline of DISH Wireless’s 5G network coming live is still a bit convoluted, but there are encouraging signs. For starters, its Las Vegas, Nevada market will be live before the end of 2021. There are also encouraging projects going on throughout the nation highlighted by the progress in Orlando, Florida, and Washington D.C. A recurring theme through this process continues to be the importance of innovation. DISH Wireless has made it clear that it isn’t just looking to build a 5G network, it’s working towards changing wireless.

Similar to its 5G buildout, DISH Wireless is looking for innovative solutions for its MVNO brands. Wireless companies offering entertainment packages or incentives along with their wireless services is an industry-standard. Instead, Boost Mobile focused on financial services, healthcare, gambling, and privacy to provide value to its customers. Although the industry is still awaiting Boost Mobile’s solution to financial services, the company has delivered on every other front.

Boost Mobile’s Executive Vice President, Stephen Stokols, is refusing to show his hand just yet but has claimed that the upcoming plan to shift prepaid customers into postpaid “is going to be an innovative thing.” Stokols also mentioned that both Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless could see changes to their current offers as the brands shift customers into postpaid. As part of a deal involving DISH Wireless, T-Mobile, and the U.S. Department of Justice, DISH is required to offer postpaid services, but it does appear it fulfills this duty through Ting Mobile already.

DISH Wireless recognizing the shift in economic winds will help it maintain its footing during its beginning. After facing adversity when T-Mobile decided that it would shut down its CDMA network, which many Boost Mobile subscribers use, in 2022, DISH Wireless had some legitimate concerns to deal with. The company fought this issue and ultimately found a solution by agreeing to a deal with AT&T that would help the company keep MVNO subscribers connected for the next decade, plus an additional two-year window for transitioning afterward.

Source: Light Reading