A ‘Strategic Network Services’ Deal Matches DISH with AT&T


DISH has selected its primary network services partner for its mobile virtual network operator, or “MVNO,” customers, inking an agreement with billions of dollars in value.

It’s with AT&T, and it is a 10-year agreement, according to a SEC filing made by DISH. “DISH has agreed to pay AT&T at least $5 billion over the course of the ten-year term of the NSA, subject to certain terms and conditions,” the filing states. Neither the length of the agreement nor its value were offered by DISH in an announcement distributed early Monday (7/19).

The deal will allow DISH to provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless, access to coverage and connectivity on AT&T’s wireless network, in addition to the new DISH 5G network.

The agreement, DISH says, accelerates its 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.

DISH makes it clear that it is committed to providing competition in the wireless market as the nation’s fourth facilities-based carrier. As such, DISH reiterated that it will continue to build out what it calls “the nation’s first cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G network reaching over 70% of the population” by 2023.

“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 COO and Group President of Retail Wireless. “The agreement provides enhanced coverage and service for our Boost, Ting and Republic customers, giving them access to the best connectivity on the market today via voice, messaging, data and nationwide roaming on AT&T’s vast network, as well as DISH’s 5G network.”


The partnership between AT&T and DISH comes as AT&T takes another step toward the spin-off of Dish Network’s lone competitor, DirecTV. 

DIRECTV Entertainment Holdings LLC, a wholly owned AT&T subsidiary, on Monday revealed a proposed offering of $3.1 billion aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes due 2027 by DIRECTV Financing and DIRECTV Financing co-Obligator.

The timing of pricing of the Notes is subject to market conditions.

Net proceeds will go toward the completion of DIRECTV’s separation from AT&T, and will trim debt owed to AT&T by the DBS provider.

TPG Capital is taking a 30% stake in DIRECTV, which AT&T acquired in 2015. Since then, it has largely phased out its own U-Verse video services.