On Monday, DISH Network announced its plan to acquire Republic Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator which operates on the T-Mobile network, in an effort to boost and build out its 5G network. Upon consummation of the deal, DISH will gain approximately 200,000 wireless customers.
This acquisition is one of DISH’s first major moves as a telecom provider. DISH was predominantly known as a satellite television provider, but became the fourth major telecom player when it finalized its $1.4 billion purchase of Boost Mobile, which Sprint divested as a requirement to merge with T-Mobile. In August, DISH acquired Ting Mobile to gain customers and help with backend services and infrastructure for its 5G network.
Similar to the Ting Mobile acquisition, the Republic Wireless acquisition will turn its current Relay division into an asset of Dish. Specifically, the press release stated that the Relay division “will continue to operate as a standalone company and will become a wholesale customer on DISH’s 5G network.” The press release added that “Relay provides communication and productivity solutions for frontline teams in hospitality, facilities management, manufacturing, healthcare and education.”
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. However, DISH noted that Republic Wireless customers would not see any immediate changes to their plans and they would not have to perform any actions on their accounts.
“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,” John Swieringa, group president, Retail Wireless and DISH COO, said in the 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.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. DISH stated that the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.