Pai: Boost Mobile Spin-Off Is Step Toward More Wireless Competition

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai welcomed the news Wednesday that T-Mobile had completed its $1.4 billion spin-off of low-cost prepaid business, Boost Mobile, to Dish, as did DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim. 

Related: Dish Closes Boost Mobile Deal

That was one of the T-Mobile-Sprint deal conditions imposed by both Justice and the FCC, one that was designed to help seed a potential facilities-based wireless service to compete with AT&T, Verizon and the new T-Mobile. 

For the near term, Dish will operate its wireless service over Sprint facilities, but the idea is for it ultimately to use its own spectrum. 

“Today, we are proud to welcome hundreds of employees, thousands of independent retailers, and millions of customers to the DISH family,” said Dish President Erik Carlson. “This marks an important milestone in DISH’s evolution as a connectivity company. It positions us well as we continue to build out the first virtualized, standalone 5G network in America.” 

“I’m pleased to see that T-Mobile has met one of its most important merger commitments,” said Pai. “Today’s action is a key step towards promoting vigorous competition in the wireless marketplace, particularly for price-conscious consumers in our nation’s cities. I also welcome DISH’s entry into the mobile industry. With this divestiture and its existing spectrum resources, DISH has the potential to make a big impact on a wireless marketplace that is transitioning to 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity." 

“I congratulate T-Mobile and Dish for closing the Boost divestiture as required under the Final Judgment,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who heads the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. “This deal is a significant milestone in realizing the Department of Justice’s remedy, which is designed to strengthen competition for high-quality 5G networks and benefit American consumers nationwide.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.