Dish Network reportedly trying to negotiate with T-Mobile for better terms on Boost Mobile purchase

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It’s now been more than two months since T-Mobile and Sprint completed their merger, but the whole story of that deal isn’t finished quite yet. That’s because Dish Network still hasn’t purchased Boost Mobile from T-Mo, which was part of an agreement that helped to get the merger approval from the Department of Justice. And now we may know why that purchase hasn’t happened yet.

A new report says that Dish Network co-founder and chairman Charlie Ergen is trying to get in some last-minute demands before actually buying Boost Mobile from T-Mobile. As noted by Bloomberg, Ergen wants all Boost customers to be on the T-Mobile network, trading in their old phones and getting new devices that work on T-Mo.

“We don’t necessarily want to go back and we don’t want to necessarily put people on the Sprint network, and then have to go back and switch them later, and the cost of switching later to T-Mobile network,” Ergen said on a Dish earnings call last month.

Meanwhile, a report from Fox Business claims that Ergen is “balking at the sale price” because the value of assets are declining due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The report goes on to say that T-Mobile is getting frustrated and is considering other possible buyers.

Dish and T-Mobile are facing a July 1 Department of Justice deadline to get their deal done.

When the DOJ approved T-Mobile’s merger of Sprint last year, it did so after Dish had agreed to buy Sprint’s prepaid assets and some spectrum for $5 billion in order to become a fourth major US carrier. That price included $1.4 billion for Sprint’s prepaid business, which Boost is a part of, as well as $3.6 billion for Sprint’s portfolio of nationwide 800MHz spectrum.

That deal also included steps that T-Mobile would take to help Dish hit the ground running as a new carrier. T-Mo and Sprint are supposed to provide Dish with at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations, and T-Mobile must give Dish “robust access” to the T-Mo network for 7 years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

We often heard about Ergen and how he was a hard negotiator whenever Dish would come up during the T-Mobile-Sprint merger saga, and now it sounds like that’s happening again. There were lots of rumors and plenty of speculation and drama throughout the merger process, so it’s fitting that there’d be a bit more as we approach the deadline of Dish’s purchase of Boost.

Sources: Bloomberg, Fox Business

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  • JG

    The report goes on to say that T-Mobile is getting frustrated and is considering other possible buyers.

    I wonder if Google might be interested. They could combine Fi and Fiber to offer both mobile and home 5G internet service.

    Just think of all the extra personal information they could gobble up… They’d know everyone I call or send a message to. They’d know about every byte of data that flows through my house — even if I had the audacity of trying to hide using Firefox instead of Chrome…

    [*Of course they’re probably most of the way there… I wouldn’t be surprised if my Pixel and Pixelbook don’t send some personal info back to HQ… Plus the always listening Homes in just about every room of my house]…

    • KMB877

      I don’t think so, because Google it is primary a software company. Fi is not affected by the Sprint saga, the 2G CDMA and 3G EV-DO are condemned (will be unplugged in max 2 years). Fi uses both CDMA and GSM, it can stay with GSM only.

      I’m wondering if maybe Amazon could be interested in Boost.

      • JG

        Fi will still have CDMA coverage… With US Cellular.

        • Shaun Michalak

          CDMA is a thing of the past.. That is 3G and older tech, which will all be shut down within the next year, maybe 6 months.. After all, Verizon said their will be shut down by December of this year.. That and the fact that US Cellular is not an actual carrier.. They are a MVNO, so why would google rely on them, and not strait to the source, like Verizon or AT&T for example?

        • JG

          Yes, CDMA is dead. Verizon actually had planned to be GSM only by the start of 2020. I hadn’t heard they pushed it back a full year.

          As to US Cellular, they are, to my knowledge at least, a full carrier just like Verizon, AT&T or TMobile, even if they don’t have as massive of a network as the big 3. It seems odd that Google would buy network space from someone who bought it from someone else in the first place. In other words, why would Google become an MVNO of an MVNO? Wouldn’t they likely get a better deal from the parent company directly?

        • KMB877

          CDMA = 2G. Also, GSM = 2G. Verizon planned to shut down CDMA and port the phone calls over LTE and 5G not on GSM. LTE is not GSM.
          AT&T shut down his 2G (or GSM) service in 2017, and T-mobile will do the same by the end of 2020.

          Fi uses only LTE connection from US Cellular, Sprint and T-mobile and CDMA from Sprint only.

        • marque2

          3g, HSPA+ and even LTE are considered evolutions of GSM. It doesn’t apply to just 2g

        • Shaun Michalak

          Well, 5G was originally built off of LTE too.. But they are now finding ways to separate that LTE core from 5G use, so they no longer need to rely on it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          You are correct.. I was thinking consumer cellular, not US cellular.. i got them backwords.. and here is a quote from an article that I just read from a few years back..

          “The underlying network of the nation’s 5th largest wireless carrier will become available for Project Fi, the Google MVNO that aims to disrupt the mobile carrier industry. U.S. Cellular joins T-Mobile and Sprint as underlying carriers for the Google MVNO project.”

          As for Verizon.. They had plans on being all LTE, not GSM..

      • marque2

        Google has been building up ISPs in several cities. They have a huge data network backbone. To add a few antenna points here and there to access the backbone would be trivial for them.

        • dcmanryan

          I thought Google got out of the internet business and has not expanded Google Fiber in years. They’re only continuing on the ones they started and maintaining the ones they have. Is that what you mean by ISPs?

        • marque2

          Google fiber would be an ISP. Also note that using Chrome your data is frequently routed to you from Google servers rather than directly from the source. Google has a massive backbone.

        • Mike

          Good thought on Google. I just wonder if John Legere would go to work for them?

      • Mike

        I wonder how many customers are even left on Boost? I’d think most may jump to TMobile. Your idea about Amazon is good.

        • KMB877

          It’s rumored under 8 million customers.

        • David Goodwin

          Ive seen between 7 and 8 Million as well.

    • Joe

      Muhahahah

    • marque2

      Dude, Google stores information about every location you have ever been since you started using Android phones. On the latest google maps. Open maps, click on Saved at the bottom then select timeline. You can bring up a calendar from this window and see what you did on any date.

      Also note, Google updated account settings in the Google account on your phone to add a Covid-19 mode that automatically tracks if you are close to someone with covid. I didn’t believe it either when I was told but sure enough. It is under “Google” in your phone settings.

      Google is evil big brother and is constantly watching you.

      • psycho_nole

        That exposure tracking only does something if you have an app that makes use of it. If you don’t have an app that will use it the options are grayed out.
        (wouldn’t stop them from using it without telling you but…)

        • marque2

          The location data is permanent, and though they claim it is private, Google also hounds you to review all the locations you have ever been to. For the covid settings, yeah it needs an app, but what app is that? What if Facebook decided to start using it? I would make sure it is off regardless.

        • Shaun Michalak

          But you can turn off location data.. The thing is, most people do not turn it off though and just agree to everything.

        • marque2

          They can always get your location.

        • Shaun Michalak

          From location data on their towers, yes.. I am just saying, you can limit their location information by turning location data off..

        • Mike

          Does turning something off really make it off?

        • marque2

          Good point.

      • Mike

        The funny thing is most people ask Google for this and that.. Haha Big Google like Big Government.

        • marque2

          You don’t even have to ask. I had a conversation with my daughter about the SAT and I said once – have you thought about the ACT. Phone was in my pocket and from that moment and for the next month or so I was inundated with adds for signing up for the ACT and ACT prep courses. Never asked Google, never looked it up.

          That is just one example. This happens all the time to me.

        • Mike

          I try not to say hey Google.. but I slipped one day and all of sudden it started to talk while I was in class. Took time to lower the volume. Google likes to talk. Lol

        • Shaun Michalak

          Amazon is not much better.. If you go to their search / address tab in the browser, if say you want to go to amazon.. you can type, www dot amazon, and it will come up with the full link.. You click on the full link, and they send you to Bing for search results to click on the link, so that they make more revenue, and do more to put your searches out there for companies to see.. If I type in www dot ebay dot com, I want to go to ebay, not Bing.. and that is the exact crap that they do on the kindles.. Even if it is the full link, never click on the full link in the results that automatically come up, or it will send you to Bing every time.

        • marque2

          Yesterday I told my wife, I think we need a new couch. Now I am being blitzed with couch ads. Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook really creep me out. They all do weird stuff like that.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I do not think I have ever said “hey google” like that.. and I have not had that kind of a problem on my phone either.. Maybe I have something turned off that keeps that from happening?

  • Eric A

    Maybe Elon Musk would buy it since he’s in the process of launching a satellite internet system.

    • Mike

      Wonder if John Legere would work with Musk and do what you mentioned?

  • dtam

    screw dish and ergen. tell him take it or leave it.

    • Mike

      Wonder if John Legere would ever work for Dish?

  • slybacon

    Make Dish buy Boost for the agreed upon $5 billion, or the FCC will start taking away all of Dish’s unused, wasted spectrum that could be benefiting wireless consumers. That’s my opinion. Dish has plenty of money.

    • Shaun Michalak

      But that is just it.. They did not agree to pay 5 billion for boost.. They agreed to pay 1.4 billion for boost, virgin, and sprint prepaid combined.. 3.6 billion was for spectrum.

      • slybacon

        Okay, maybe a few more technical details…, but you get my point.

        • Shaun Michalak

          That is actually a major technicality considering the original owner and founder of boost offered to buy just boost for 2 billion dollars.. and Dish is getting all 3 names for 0.6 billion dollars less..

        • slybacon

          Maybe the original bidder will come back around. They did say they are looking at other options. And that would bring more money in to Tmo.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Exactly.. Plus, it would be possible for Dish to make their own network as a primary thing, like how T-mobile does, and still use Virgin and Sprint Prepaid as a secondary thing, and still be a 4th carrier.. Still, I think that this is more of a delay tactic for some reason, and one of these days, these delay tactics are going to end up with them shooting themselves in the foot.. If someone offers you 2 billion for one name, you would have to be an idiot to complain that less then half that, which is what they are actually paying considering the 3 companies they are getting, is too high.. You take it and run before you screw yourself over out of greed..

        • Mike

          The phones being updated is something that is smart to negotiate. He wants as little overhang as possible.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I can partly agree with that.. The fact that there are still so many people out there with 3G phones, and all the companies were planning on shutting down anything pre 4G in the next 6 months or so, I can understand T-Mobile not wanting to pay for upgrades to peoples phones, that they would have to pay to replace themselves anyways, because they will not be working, with, or without the merger.. So to ask T-Mobile to pay for all those phones, I can see some complaints in there.. Just to put things into perspective..

          A quote from an article from April of this year.. ” Verizon has declared the shutdown date for its Third-generation network, a network currently used by at least 47.3 million people in the U.S”

          Another quote from another article.. “AT&T for example discontinued service on its 2G wireless network Jan. 1, 2017. According to the operator’s filings with the SEC around that time, it counted fully 4 million customers on its 2G network”

          I understand that Sprint has less customers.. But if both AT&T and Verizon are having customers in the millions that are stilling using outdated, unsupported phones when their networks were shut down, Don’t you think that Sprints customers are in the same position, with millions with outdated phones too?

        • marque2

          About 12% of phones on the networks are still using variations of 3g only.

        • Shaun Michalak

          My point exactly.. Why should T-Mobile have to pay to give people new phones when they phones are about to become obsolete and not work even without the merger?? Considering that they are giving Dish a big discount on the brands as it is, if they want them all to get new phones, let Dish supply them since they are their customers, not T-Mobile’s..

        • Mike

          Well this is Dish we are talking about now. I believe Ergen wants a good deal, and he needs current phones to offer… I actually seen a promo running for Boost giving 4 phones if people sign up… nice phones I believe the LG k51. So maybe something got worked out between the two. Boost will be something to watch for, after all they got 7 years on TMobiles network… I wonder if Legere is going to work for Dish next?

        • Shaun Michalak

          If I remember right, that phone deal fell through.. If you noticed, you said “sign up”, which means nothing for the general customers that are already there.. This is very common for all the companies, so I would not put too much stock in this promo being something being worked out with T-Mobile.

    • Mike

      Funny thing is Dish has been letting Tmobile use it’s 600mhz band. That’s until the deal is finally cleared.

  • Shaun Michalak

    So the original person who started Boost Mobile offered to pay 2 billion dollars for just Boost, to buy it back again, but Dish thinks that spending 1.4 Billion dollars for Sprint prepaid, Virgin Mobile, and Boost Mobile is too much?? That is 3 companies for 0.6 billion less then the original owner of Boost offered to pay for it, and they are still nagging about paying too much, and trying to get it lowered??

    To quote “Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton is willing to pay up to $2 billion to buy back the prepaid wireless brand from Sprint Corp”

    • Mike

      I’d bet that people on those prepaid like Boost and Virgin are getting alot of solicitations to check out Tmobile before July.

    • David Goodwin

      Yeah but didnt sprint end the Virgin Mobile brand before the deal went through? If so it doesnt have much value.

      • Shaun Michalak

        You are correct.. I did not know that they merged the 2 companies together.. You try to go to Virgin Mobile’s website now, and you get redirected to Boost Mobile.. Either way, it does not change the fact that they are still getting Boost, and Sprint Prepaid for less then what they were offered for Boost alone..

  • vrm

    t-mobile should have antifa pay Charlie a visit. They are based in Seattle, aren’t they ?

    • Willie D

      Been watching FOX FakeNews again?

      • vrm

        I don’t have cable. Good thing you stuck the head out of the idiot box long enough to type.

  • Mike

    Well Ergen is a business man. Yes
    Dish is getting a good price, but the story here mentions updated phones. Since Dish will have access to TMobiles network for 7 years, I guess Ergen appearently wants to make sure all those people will have devices that work on the Tmobile network, including the 5g coverage. All those pre paid phones probally only work on Sprint network, which is having it’s core frequencies of 2.5gig moved to Tmobile network.
    So to me from a business aspect, he is looking out for his share holders to make a better deal. Ain’t the free market a great thing.
    Wonder if John Legere would ever work for Dish?

  • Willie D

    The deal was pushed through quickly with only promises and hopes and not thorough scrutiny of how these companies will work this out. It should have been done at the same time. TMo should never been approved to merge UNTIL Sprint divests Boost FIRST to Dish, then Dish would have to have already in place a plan with TMo on how phones would be migrated from Sprint to TMo, and new devices connect solely to TMo as pretty much all other MVNOs have when network contracts to MVNOs changed from one company to another. I mean lets be real here whats TMo have to lose?

    • marque2

      Wow,.under your terms TMobile would have had to give dish away for free.

      • Willie D

        TMobile giving Dish away for free… sure, okay, they dont own Dish… so….

        • marque2

          The sentence was clipped a bit.

          Under your terms, Tmobile would have to give boost to Dish for free.

          But you knew that.

  • the martian ambassador

    #IStandWIthTuckerCarlson

    • InTheMuff

      Damn straight

    • Bilesha Welton

      Me too