Dish Signs Deal Making AT&T Its Mobile Phone Network

AT&T logo on Whitacre Tower
(Image credit: AT&T)

Dish Network and AT&T, rivals in the satellite TV business, signed an agreement making AT&T the primary network service partner for Dish mobile phone customers.

Customers of Dish’s Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless brands will access coverage and connectivity on AT&T’s wireless network.

Also Read: DirecTV Spin-off Gets FCC Approval

Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T is in the process of spinning off both its DirecTV satellite unit and its WarnerMedia TV and movie company in order to focus on being a phone company.

The deal also covers 5G service, particularly in rural areas where Dish provides satellite-TV services. AT&T is providing transport and roaming services as part fo the agreement to support Dish’s 5G network.

Dish said it was committed to providing competition in the wireless business and will continue to build out its OpenRAN-based 5G Network, which it claims will reach 70% of the country 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 chief operating officer 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 has invested $140 billion on its wireless and wireline networks between 2016 and the first quarter of 2021. 

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 fiber and wireless infrastructure," said 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." 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.