DISH Expands Boost Wireless’s 5G Voice Coverage, But How Many People Are on the Network?





DISH’s Boost Wireless network hit a new milestone this week.

DISH said its Boost Wireless now supports 5G voice capable of reaching 200 million Americans.

This marks the company’s latest step in growing its 5G network to support more devices so it can stop using T-Mobile, and represents some progress in its slow transformation into a wireless provider.

“At DISH, we firmly believe in the transformative power of communication, and as the 4th nationwide wireless network, we are bringing competition to the wireless industry and more choice to U.S. consumers,” John Swieringa, Echostar’s president of technology and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

But there remains the question of how many people are actually on its new network, which DISH regularly touts as more advanced than the competition. The dilemma is only customers with new phones can operate on the network, with a vast majority of its base inherited from DISH’s acquisition of Boost from Sprint in 2020. The company has lost wireless customers in virtually every quarter since it took over.

The company is also losing its wireless retail chief, Michael Kelly, who resigned this week.

The network now supports multiple 5G phones like the iPhone 15 lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, and the Motorola RAZR. In January, Boost launched seven new network-compatible devices, according to DISH.

In November, DISH launched Boost Wireless in 12 new towns which expanded its 5G network to 89 markets, covering 73% of the U.S. This is still short of the Federal Communications Commission’s requirement that the company cover 75% of the country by 2025.

The recently completed merger of DISH and EchoStar, forming EchoStar Corporation, will also help DISH’s 5G network expansion. While DISH will remain a pay TV brand, it will get a much-needed cash influx — as the company is still millions in debt — to aid its aspirations of becoming a competitive wireless provider.

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