Several weeks ago, DISH began sending out "rainbow SIMs" to dealers. Rainbow SIMs allow dealers to activate service on the AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH networks. Wave7 Research noted in its most recent prepaid report that in late February Boost dealers were informed that the Samsung Galaxy A23 could be activated with a Rainbow SIM on the "Boost 5G Network." The Boost 5G Network (B5G) is the internal name used by DISH for the native network that DISH is building out for itself.
A late February article in Fierce Wireless reported that John Swieringa, President and COO of DISH Wireless told investors on the company's Q4 earnings conference call that DISH's 5G network is live with 5G voice over new radio (VoNR) calling in 12 markets. Those markets account for 30 million DISH points-of-presence (POPs). A transcript of the conference call reveals that Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, and Cleveland represent a few of those markets. According to Swieringa, DISH expects to be able to increase its POP footprint by about 50% every quarter. And the company's plan is to first market Boost Mobile in those areas, and later Boost Infinite.
The Boost 5G Network does not support VoLTE (voice over 4G LTE) calling, only 5G VoNR calling. So a 5G phone that supports VoNR with the proper Boost network band support is required to use Boost's 5G network for calling. Boost is still optimizing and enabling VoNR calling across its network. In most areas, only 5G data is supported when on that network.
Swieringa says that once VoNR is optimized in a given market, DISH's game plan is to load that market up with handsets that work on its network. Then they'll market services with those devices. The expectation is that they'll be launching new markets "sometimes every week."
“This is a baby step for Boost Mobile, as virtually all traffic currently is using the networks of T-Mobile or AT&T. That said, it is an important one as the economics of any given Boost Mobile customer is dramatically better with owner’s economics.” – Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research
Currently, only a limited number of devices can be activated on Boost's 5G network, with the Samsung Galaxy A23 being the latest one. Boost Mobile has actually been running TV (watch here) and radio ads over the last couple of weeks advertising that the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G is available for free. The TV ad launched at about the same time dealers were told they could activate the Galaxy A23 5G on the Boost 5G Network. The ad has already aired hundreds of times.
A document shared with BestMVNO shows that other eligible devices for activation on the Boost 5G network include the Motorola EDGE+, Moto G 5G, Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), and the Celero 5G+. Bring your own device is not yet supported.