US connectivity company DISH has signed what it describes as a transformative, long-term strategic Network Services Agreement (NSA) with AT&T, making AT&T the primary network services partner for DISH MVNO customers.
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.
DISH is committed to providing competition in the wireless market as the nation’s fourth facilities-based carrier. The company will continue to build out the nation’s first cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G network reaching over 70 per cent 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,” suggests 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.”
AT&T 5G is available to 250 million people across the country over sub-6 spectrum and millimetre wave spectrum (AT&T 5G+), which is currently available in parts of 38 cities and at more than 20 venues, including high-traffic places such as stadiums, arenas, airports and campuses. AT&T plans to cover 200 million people across the country with C-band (mid-band) 5G by the end of 2023.
Between 2016 and the end of the first quarter 2021, AT&T has invested more than $140 billion into its wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments and acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations, to support market demand for communications. The agreement allows AT&T the opportunity to use a portion of DISH’s spectrum in various markets to help support DISH customers on AT&T’s network.
“Teaming with DISH on this agreement is not only a testament to the strength of our network, but it further validates the investments we’ve made in our fibre and wireless infrastructure,” says Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Consumer. “We welcome DISH wireless and its customers to the nation’s largest and best wireless network for all of their streaming, data and roaming needs.”