The ever-growing DISH Wireless just announced on Monday that the company will acquire Gen Mobile. Gen Mobile is a Los Angeles, CA-based prepaid wireless company that focuses on low price points for “cost-conscious” consumers. The MVNO uses T-Mobile’s network with plans ranging from $10 to $30 per month.
The move to acquire Gen Mobile is part of DISH’s play to take advantage of the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program that’s meant to bridge the digital divide in underserved markets. Stephen Stokols, who oversees Boost Mobile and will now oversee Gen Mobile, said, “we want to get more aggressive in that space.” Though DISH Wireless is starting to move up market with Boost Mobile, Stokols said, “we don’t want to ignore the under-served market.”
The Gen Mobile brand is the perfect way for DISH to expand into that market. It’s an established brand that can aggressively get into the underserved space because it’s an economic demographic that DISH Wireless is aiming to target with the low-priced phone plans. The EBB program presents a huge opportunity for DISH Wireless, and it’s one the company isn’t wasting.
“We already have distribution in a lot of areas” where there are qualified customers, he said, so Boost is already kind of playing in that space. Stokols does want to move Boost up market, but with the acquisition of Gen Mobile they can “expand into more areas” where people qualify, and with DISH wireless backing the move, Gen Mobile can get a bigger piece of the EBB space.
The purchase of Gen Mobile isn’t so much about the subscriber count for DISH Wireless, which is just around 100,000, but more about the brand, existing distribution, and gaining talent from the team that built H20– another “pay as you go” wireless provider. DISH Wireless will keep Gen Mobile co-founder and CEO Robert Yap.
Yap recently said in a statement, “We founded Gen Mobile to help bridge the digital divide and ensure all Americans have basic affordable wireless access,” he continued, Joining forces with Boost allows us to broaden our customer reach, magnify our impact and ultimately connect more Americans.”
DISH is at odds with T-Mobile over the CDMA network shutdown, but recently struck a MVNO deal with AT&T to keep Boost customers connected. Stokols said that the plan is to use both AT&T and T-Mobile networks for the foreseeable future. He said, “We don’t plan on moving off T-Mobile altogether,” he continued, “we’re going to operate with two MNOs,” although the deal with AT&T with come with more growth.
Original Article from Fierce Wireless