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Dish to Purchase Republic Wireless

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Dish Network said it will purchase Republic Wireless, a mobile operator with about 200,000 customer relationships, for an undisclosed sum.  

Republic Wireless provides service via a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with T-Mobile. Dish, which is in the process of building its own 5G wireless network, has agreed to buy spectrum from T-Mobile and also operates a prepaid wireless business (Boost Mobile)  which uses T-Mobile’s network. 

Also Read: Dish: No Partner Needed for Wireless Dance 

This is the second small wireless acquisition Dish has made since agreeing to buy about $3.6 billion in wireless spectrum from T-Mobile over three years (and the Boost Mobile business for another $1.4 billion) in 2019  as part of the larger company’s purchase of Sprint. In August, Dish agreed to purchase prepaid phone company Ting Mobile. (opens in new tab)  As part of the Republic deal, Dish said  SVP of Ting Mobile and MVNO platform Rob Currie, will lead the Republic Wireless business.

"Republic has created a loyal following and established a brand known for innovation, customer service and value. We plan to build upon that strong foundation," said Dish chief operating officer and president of its Retail Wireless unit John Swieringa, in a press release. "As we continue to grow our retail wireless business, Republic broadens our existing customer base and positions us to deliver even more value to the market, expanding our portfolio of mobile solutions to meet a variety of customer needs. We look forward to welcoming Republic customers to the Dish family."

After the deal closes, expected in the second quarter of this year, Republic’s Relay division, which provides communications service to hospitality, healthcare, facilities management, manufacturing and education clients, will continue to operate as a standalone  company. Relay will also become a wholesale customer on Dish’s 5G network. 

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.