The deal is worth a minimum of $5 billion.
For the next decade, DISH Wireless has secured an important deal with AT&T that will provide service throughout the United States to its various MVNO brands. DISH is still building out its 5G network and many of its current subscribers still use 4G LTE. Still, the deal will not be limited to only areas in which DISH Wireless is not located in once its innovative network is built.
“Through this agreement, DISH will provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile, and Republic Wireless, access to (best-in-class) coverage and connectivity on AT&T’s wireless network, in addition to the new DISH 5G network. The agreement accelerates DISH’s expansion of retail wireless distribution to rural markets where DISH provides satellite TV services. AT&T is also providing transport and roaming services as part of the agreement, to support DISH’s 5G network,” stated a filing from DISH with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
DISH Wireless owns three MVNO brands, Boost Mobile, Republic Wireless, and Ting Mobile. Together, these brands account for almost 10 million subscribers, with an overwhelming majority of them connecting through Boost Mobile. DISH was able to acquire Boost Mobile as a result of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger in 2020. Before, subscribers connected to a network owned by Sprint known as the CDMA network, and now, T-Mobile is scheduled to shut down the CDMA network at the beginning of 2022. The move is not well received by DISH Wireless or special interest groups who are concerned that many of Boost’s customers will lose connectivity and become alienated in the process. By securing such a deal with AT&T, DISH may have found a viable solution to assist its largest MVNO market segment.
“Teaming with AT&T on this long-term partnership will allow us to better compete in the retail wireless market and quickly respond to changes in our customers’ evolving connectivity needs as we build our own (first-of-its-kind) 5G network,” said John Swieringa, DISH’s Chief Operating Officer via a statement. Swieringa emphasized that the deal with AT&T would allow for “enhanced coverage and service.” The company also stated that it “is committed to providing competition in the wireless market as the nation’s fourth facilities-based carrier.”
The deal which began July 14, 2021, will last for ten years. Once the deal expires or should it be terminated, there will be a two-year transitional period that will allow consumers to continue connecting with AT&T’s network during that time