Dish Network plans to acquire MVNO Republic Wireless in a bid to bolster its 5G, the company has reportedly announced. The deal would not only add as many as 200,000 wireless customers to its next-gen network — slated for later in 2021. It would also bolster its backend.
With the acquisition finalized, the Republic Wireless Relay division — which will continue to operate as a standalone business — will serve a pivotal role for Dish. The latter company indicates that it will become a customer of the network’s 5G division as well. More succinctly, Relay will become “a wholesale customer on Dish’s 5G network.”
What does a Republic Wireless acquisition mean for Dish?
Dish Network has not released any financial details regarding this particular transaction. And the exact plans for the acquisition haven’t been detailed in full yet either. But, realistically, this acquisition will likely be instrumental in finalizing Dish’s plans for the near future.
Dish Network has been driving toward building its place as a US mobile provider since its earlier acquisition of Sprint’s Boost Mobile. That deal, worth $1.4 billion to Dish, was closed back in 2020. And the company has steadily acquired further small carriers and spectrum in the interim. With the ultimate goal of launching a full-fledged 5G network in the US at some point in 2021.
Among purchases, Dish acquired Ting, for example, which bolstered its back-end via Ting parent company Tucows.
This acquisition follows in the same vein, giving Dish access to the necessary underlying technology to make its goal a reality. Summarily, helping the company step away from practices typically associated with MVNO networks to build its standalone offering.
You won’t see the fruits of this endeavor until later in the year
In terms of when Dish’s various acquisitions will be readily visible on the consumer side, that’s not going to happen for some time still. The company’s 5G network is planned for 2021 but not until Q3 2021. That puts the timeline — if things continue to go smoothly for the carrier — sometime between July and September.