Dish ‘working with Google’ on Boost deal to permit $26bn Sprint/T-Mobile merger

08 July 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

Satellite company Dish may join with Google if it manages to buy Boost Mobile from Sprint.

Sprint is trying to sell off Boost Mobile, a California-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), as a condition for being allowed to merge with T-Mobile US.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already approved the $26 billion merger, but the Department of Justice (DoJ) is wanting to exert further conditions – including the sale of Boost for a reported $6 billion – so that the US goes back to having four significant mobile operators.

Now reports at the weekend say that Dish Network, a satellite TV provider, is wanting to work with Google on the project.

Google already uses Sprint and T-Mobile infrastructure for its MVNO, Project Fi.

The New York Post reported on Sunday that Alan Mulally, a director of Alphabet, the Google holding company, is talking to Dish, headed by Charlie Ergen. However Google denied to the newspaper a suggestion that it might be involved in setting up a fourth network. But Google might be able to move Project Fi to Boost if it became part of Dish. Google may also use Boost for access to Google Cloud, the paper reported.

Project Fi, now marketed as Google Fi, also uses US Cellular as well as Wifi, currently the fifth largest network in the US. It charges a flat rate of $20 a month for unlimited minutes, plus $10 a month for each gigabyte of data, with no data roaming charges outside the US. Fi was launched in 2016 but so far there is no information about number of users.