Dish Network felt the pain of T-Mobile US’ shutdown of its CDMA network in its Q1, which resulted in higher wireless subscriber losses than the same period of 2021.

Across its retail wireless business, Dish Network lost 343,000 customers from its Boost Mobile MVNO operation, compared with the loss of 161,000 in Q1 2021. MoffettNathanson analysts noted the operator’s wireless based had decreased 17.1 per cent since 2020.

On its earnings call, Dish Network president and CEO Erik Carlson said the CDMA shutdown and a delay in a Department of Justice (DoJ) review of a revised agreement with T-Mobile impacted the operator’s ability to compete.

“This includes our acquisition and retention efforts and our results of operations.”

Dish Network and MVNO host T-Mobile were mired in a dispute about the timeline for the CDMA shutdown for more than a year.

Boost Mobile subscribers Dish Network acquired after T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint use the CDMA network.

The operator began migrating subscribers in February after T-Mobile confirmed it would press ahead with the shutdown from end-March.

Dish Network chair Charlie Ergen stated while the biggest problem for the new agreement was the DoJ’s delay in reviewing the new service agreement with T-Mobile, his company won’t get back any kind of competitive advantage in the marketplace by having a new deal in place.

Ergen predicted the DoJ will request some amendments to the pending deal.

5G update
Dish Wireless president and COO John Swieringa said not to read too much into the initial $30 per month charge for its freshly-launched 5G service, explaining it aims to attract early users who can give feedback before it expands across its retail brands and wholesale division.

Ergen noted the company fully expects to meet an FCC deadline to cover 20 per cent of the US population with 5G by 14 June and doesn’t think Dish Wireless will need to file an extension.

Band 70
The company plans to add support for Band 70 across a range of devices by Q3.

Band 70 was approved by the 3GPP in 2016 and combines the various frequency bands Dish Network won in FCC auctions.

In March, several publications reported the Federal Communications Commission had approved two compatible Motorola phones.

Swieringa said Dish Network currently has Band 70 devices in its laboratories and is working with all major OEMs.

“One of the things we need to focus on is making sure that Band 70, as well as some of the software required to run the network, makes it from the highest tier of devices all the way through the portfolio.”