A new prepaid report issued by the firm Wave7 Research suggests Republic Wireless by DISH will cease operations. Multiple sources have confirmed to the firm that closure is likely, although a time frame has not been given. Evidence of a lack of resources being put into the brand can be clearly seen online.
In November of 2022, Republic Wireless by DISH permanently shut down its online community forums. The forums were a place for customers to go to discuss the brand, get help with their service, and find out about upcoming changes.
Their social media accounts also went primarily dark in 2022. There was only one new Facebook post by the brand for the entire year, the same goes for their Twitter account and Instagram. However, Republic Wireless has responded to support requests sporadically throughout the year via those social media accounts. A Twitter user even asked them outright if the brand is dead or if they are just pointing all their support contacts over to Boost Mobile?
Republic's YouTube channel only saw slightly more use in 2022 than its other social media accounts. A series of videos were released in bursts seven months ago and four months ago.
The DISH Wireless website no longer mentions Republic Wireless or contains the Republic Wireless by DISH logo. It could be seen earlier in 2022 but the logo has since been replaced by a logo for Boost Infinite.
Republic Wireless, A Lack Of Focus Leads To Demise
The DISH Network Corporation acquired Republic Wireless and its 200,000 subscribers in March of 2021. DISH seemingly bought the brand without a solid plan in place to point it in a direction for growth. In a sure sign of poor planning and a lack of focus, DISH rebranded Republic Wireless two separate times in less than a year.
In November of 2021, a leak suggested that Republic Wireless was rebranding to become a more senior-focused carrier taking aim at Consumer Cellular's targeted demographic. That leak proved true when a full rebranding took place in December 2021.
In May of 2022, Republic Wireless rebranded yet again to become Republic Wireless by DISH.
The rebranding announcement was the only social media post from the brand in 2022, where it was seemingly thereafter left for dead. The rebrand was done to pair Republic Wireless by DISH cellular phone service with DISH's satellite TV.
DISH Network satellite tv customers were offered "discounts" on Republic Wireless by DISH service. For instance, customers with DISH could get a phone line with 20GB of high-speed data for $29.99 or add additional lines for the same price as opposed to paying $59.99 for a line without DISH. Prior to this rebrand, the 20GB plan was priced at $40/month for a single line and $60 for two lines. The changes didn't go over well with many of Republic Wireless's customers as discussed in this Reddit post.
Customers Flee In Droves
DISH's handling of Republic Wireless forced many, including long-time customers, to leave. A personal friend of BestMVNO is one such customer to depart for another provider. The friend had been a Republic Wireless customer since they first launched out of beta in 2013. The person initially became a subscriber because they were in need of a new phone and cheap service. Republic Wireless fit the bill well by offering the Moto X for $299.99 with unlimited talk and text over WiFi for $5/month.
Fast forward to early 2022, and the user was in need of another phone but dissatisfied with what Republic Wireless was offering. It was also at that time the subscriber discovered that DISH, a brand they did not care for, was Republic Wireless's new owner. So with a lack of confidence in DISH's ownership, fear of their rate plan possibly changing (although RW claimed they would be able to keep it), and a deterioration in the quality of service, the subscriber decided to leave and switch their family over to another provider.
Similar stories to the one above can be found all over the internet. A few months ago, one Reddit userposted a mini rant on how happy they were to leave citing terrible customer service and the new plans as reasons for their exodus. Several others in the thread posted similar sentiments.
An article from August 2022, in Fierce Wireless, starts off by stating that "Dish can’t seem to stop losing wireless subscribers." DISH-owned prepaid wireless brands as a whole had been losing customers quarter after quarter ever since DISH took them over. As of July 31, 2022, 1.1 million wireless customers fled DISH since it bought its first wireless brand, Boost Mobile in mid-2020. However, DISH may be finally starting to turn the corner having announced a minuscule subscriber gain of 1,000 additions in November of 2022. The slight turnaround may be in part due to Gen Mobile, a brand that DISH in contrast to Republic has started actively investing in by getting it into the hands of prepaid dealers.
“We at Wave7 Research are hearing that Republic Wireless is likely to be shuttered. The brand has been severely neglected since it was purchased, unlike Gen Mobile, which is getting strong investment and attention under DISH Network ownership.” - Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research