DISH enters a US 5G market already worth more than $26 billion, but its service is not quite ready for prime time, says GlobalData

Following the news that DISH Network appears to have met the FCC’s deadline for it to provide 5G service covering 20% of the US population as of June 14, 2022;

Tammy Parker, Principal Technology Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“DISH quietly revealed yesterday that its cloud-native, open-RAN (O-RAN), standalone 5G network is live in more than 120 cities. This marks DISH’s entry into a mobile 5G services market that GlobalData estimates generated $27.7 billion in revenue during 2021 across North America, with the US accounting for $26.6 billion. By 2026, mobile 5G revenue in the region is expected to reach $195.7 billion.

“Despite this launch, DISH’s 5G service – dubbed Project Genesis – remains very much a work in progress and far from a commercially attractive offering suitable for success in the mass market. DISH’s ambitious plan to become the nation’s fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless network operator has passed a crucial hurdle, but the company still has many developmental milestones to reach before its vision can truly be realized.

“Even in cities where DISH’s 5G wireless network has launched, it can be difficult finding a street address that is deemed to be qualified for service signup per the Project Genesis website. Project Genesis is offering a single smartphone plan for $30 per month and a mobile hotspot data-only plan for $20 per month. However, customers cannot bring their own phones or hotspots as the service only works with a few devices that are available exclusively from Project Genesis and have been certified and optimized to work on its Smart 5G network.

“At its Analyst Day last month in Las Vegas, the first city where the Project Genesis service became available, DISH forecast lofty goals for its wireless operations, which already include prepaid brand Boost Mobile, currently operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, and the forthcoming postpaid brand, Boost Infinite, slated for launch this fall. Boost Mobile had 8.2 million subscribers as of Q1 2022, giving it less than 3% market share, according to GlobalData estimates.

“DISH predicts its wireless unit will eventually reach 30 million to 40 million retail wireless subscribers, which seems especially optimistic given the competitive dynamics of the US market. Nonetheless, now that DISH has launched service in numerous markets, the company finally has the opportunity to prove it has what it takes to become a viable wireless competitor.”

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