Dish Network has agreed to pay AT&T at least $ 5 billion over 10 years for network access in a feud between Dish and T-Mobile.
Dish is in the early stages of building a 5G network and, in the meantime, serves customers as a reseller using the capacity of the network it purchases from T-Mobile. But Dish and T-Mobile are arguing over T-Mobile’s plan to shut down its CDMA 3G network earlier than expected, with Dish accusing T-Mobile of anti-competitive behavior.
In this context, Dish today ad “Signing of a long-term, transformative strategic network services agreement with AT&T, making AT&T the primary network services partner for Dish MVNO [mobile virtual network operator] customers.”
The capacity of the AT&T network will serve customers of Dish’s “retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless,” Dish said. Dish also said the deal would accelerate its “expansion of retail wireless distribution to rural markets where Dish provides satellite television services” and that AT&T will provide transportation and roaming services to support Dish’s future 5G network.
Dish revealed $ 5 billion price to Securities and Exchange Commission deposit it also notes that AT & T’s roaming and transport services will not be limited to areas where Dish is not building 5G infrastructure. The agreement “provides Dish’s wireless retail customers with voice and data roaming services across the United States on the AT&T network and access to the AT&T network, even in markets where Dish operates its own network. 5G, ”Dish told the SEC.
Today’s agreement between AT&T and Dish is not exclusive, so Dish can use both T-Mobile and AT&T capacity to serve customers. But Dish’s statement that AT&T will become the “primary” network provider for Dish MVNO customers shows that Dish is trying to minimize T-Mobile’s network usage. Dish’s MVNO deal with T-Mobile lasts until 2027.
Partnership with T-Mobile goes south
The T-Mobile / Dish partnership grew out of T-Mobile’s purchase of Sprint. When the Trump administration’s Justice Department permit this merger, it took T-Mobile sell Dish the prepaid Boost Mobile business formerly owned by Sprint, as well as spectrum licenses and wholesale access to the T-Mobile / Sprint combined network. The deal was supposed to help Dish become the fourth major transporter to replace competition lost when the T-Mobile / Sprint merger reduced the number of national carriers from four to three.
Dish has since accused T-Mobile of anti-competitive behavior in several cases filed with the Federal Communications Commission. Dish complained to the FCC in April that “T-Mobile announced its intention to deactivate the Sprint CDMA network, which is home to millions of Boost subscribers, on January 1, 2022. This is much earlier than the three-year migration schedule announced previously.”
Dish says T-Mobile is expected to maintain the 3G CDMA network until at least July 2023, three years after Dish’s purchase of Boost. Dish said T-Mobile indicated the three-year schedule in a Filed with the SEC in July 2019 and in statements to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). For example, T-Mobile told CPUC that it would “support legacy Sprint customers during the 3-year migration period” and that it would be able to “support technology-dependent Sprint customers. LTE and CDMA and guide customers with incompatible handsets through the migration process.
T-Mobile says Dish ‘handpicked statements’
T-Mobile said it did not commit to a three-year deadline, tell the fcc that “the statements cited by Dish simply acknowledged that T-Mobile had up to three years to terminate the old CDMA Sprint network … It is absurd for Dish to suggest that these three handpicked statements formed the basis of its business plan and should be considered to take precedence over the clear and unambiguous contractual language contained in the MNSA [the Master Network Services Agreement between T-Mobile and Dish]. “
T-Mobile added that “all CDMA customers, including Dish’s Boost brand customers, will experience tremendous benefits by migrating to T-Mobile’s new network as planned, and it is absolutely in their best interests to do so. Under our agreement, it is Dish’s unambiguous financial responsibility to migrate customers to the new technology in a timely manner, and if they meet these obligations, no consumer will be adversely affected by the sunset and will not will in fact benefit from substantial advantages. “
Dish then called T-Mobile’s response an “unconvincing attempt to justify its blatantly anti-competitive decision to prematurely shut down the operation of the legacy Sprint CDMA network” and said it was “indisputable” that “the accelerated shutdown of the CDMA network is likely to harm millions of Boost consumers, including many face economic challenges. “
“Dish is not asking T-Mobile to do anything other than honor sworn commitments to regulators and keep the CDMA network operational until at least July 2023,” Dish told the FCC. “While T-Mobile has had no problem making these statements to reassure regulators that its acquisition of Sprint would not cause harm to consumers, T-Mobile is now hiding behind tight contract terms in its attempt to do the exact harm he promised he would do. not cause. “
Dish and T-Mobile have another fight going on
T-Mobile and Dish also disagree on sharing the 12 GHz frequency band because T-Mobile urged the FCC to avoid giving land mobile rights to companies with MVDDS [Multichannel Video and Data Distribution Service] satellite television licenses, which includes Dish. T-Mobile said this would amount to “an undeserved windfall.” The dish wants use the spectral band for 5G.
As part of the T-Mobile / Sprint merger and divestiture process, Dish has made a commitment to the government to build a 5G network serving 70% of Americans by June 2023.