Dish, AT&T sign wireless network deal worth at least $5 billion

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FILE PHOTO: A Dish Network receiver hangs on a house in Somerville
FILE PHOTO: A Dish Network receiver hangs on a house in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

July 19, 2021

(Reuters) – Dish Network Corp said on Monday it had signed a multi-year deal worth at least $5 billion to make AT&T Inc the primary network services partner for its wireless customers.

Under the terms of the 10-year deal, AT&T will provide voice, data, messaging services to customers of Dish-owned mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) Boost Mobile, Ting and Republic Wireless.

MVNOs do not own networks but rent capacity from established operators to sell services to their customers.

Dish’s retail wireless customers throughout the United States will also get access to voice and data roaming services on AT&T’s network, the company said.

Telecom firms are spending billions to ramp up their 5G infrastructure to provide faster data services and better coverage, demand for which has increased due to the pandemic-led shift to remote working and online learning.

Dish has 8.89 million retail wireless subscribers as of its last quarterly earnings report, while AT&T has more than 186 million mobile subscribers.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)