Dish loses mobile subscribers, says 5G network will soon be expanded

Dish says he is convinced that 5G network will cover a fifth of the United States by the middle of next month, even though it only launched this Wednesday and is only available in one city.

Best known for its satellite television services, Dish made an optimistic outlook Friday in its first-quarter earnings report. The prediction was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise ugly report.

The company lost 343,000 net telephone subscribers in the quarter, more than double the 161,000 subscribers who left during the same period a year earlier. The company attributed the loss of subscribers in part to the shutdown of its CDMA network. At present, Dish still has 8.2 million phone subscribers.

The carrier’s pay-TV segment fared less well, losing 462,000 net subscribers, more than double the 230,000 lost in the first quarter of last year.

Dish, which became the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator as a byproduct of the Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint two years ago pinned its future on 5G. The company currently provides the high-speed service in Las Vegas and promises to roll it out in 113 other cities before June 14. It’s unclear which cities will receive the service first and be active before the deadline.

When the service is live in their region, people can sign up through Project Genesis, the name of the carrier’s early access program. Customers get a Motorola Edge Plus – the only phone authorized for the network – at a promotional price of $30 per month. Some customers could have used Samsung Galaxy S22 devices on Dish’s 5G network, but the company has not authorized the use of these devices.

In a call to discuss revenue, Dish executives declined to elaborate on future pricing or wireless service details beyond Project Genesis.

Dish Network reported first-quarter revenue of $433 million, down 31% from the $630 million reported a year earlier.

The company posted earnings per share of 68 cents, missing analysts’ forecast of 75 cents per share, according to Yahoo funds. The company reported earnings per share of 99 cents in the same quarter last year.

Shares of Dish fell 19% to $22.17.

Casey J. Nelson