On Monday, DISH Network Corporation announced it has acquired Ting Mobile and has partnered with Ting’s former parent company, Tucows Inc., a network access and mobile technology and internet service provider, for its retail wireless business. Tucows will provide DISH with backend services for the wireless network it is building; the deal was effective on August 1.
Ting Mobile is a small service provider that was founded in 2012 and has more than 250,000 subscribers as of today. As part of the deal, DISH will acquire key Ting Mobile assets and use the Ting Mobile brand as it works to build its network and mobile customer base. These customers will be able to use their same phones, but they will be DISH customers and they will have access to the new T-Mobile network, similar to DISH’s Boost Mobile customers.
Tucows will concentrate on growing its Mobile Services Enabler (MSE) solutions, beginning with DISH, which will “deliver… a wide range of functions including billing, activation, provisioning, and funnel marketing to mobile providers.” DISH is Tucows’ first mobile technology partner. The partnership allows DISH to have the core functions necessary before it can launch its own wireless network.
“DISH has acquired a well-loved mobile brand, a loyal customer base and a proven platform,” Elliot Noss, Tucows CEO, said. “Tucows will now refocus our mobile business on building and maintaining platforms that simplify complex systems while still maintaining strong, consistent cash flows. Ting Mobile customers will surely reap the rewards of a better cost structure, and the U.S. mobile industry has an aggressive competitor in DISH, a company well-positioned to disrupt the industry.”
“Today, we welcome Ting Mobile customers to DISH,” John Swieringa, Group President, Retail Wireless and DISH COO, said. “Ting Mobile is a great brand that stands for better value in wireless, and we are eager to begin delivering our award-winning customer service to Ting subscribers. Our agreement with Tucows will accelerate our digital and operational capabilities in wireless. Elliot and his team have a strong track record as entrepreneurs and innovators, and we are excited to partner with them on our wireless venture.”
The acquisition and partnership come after Sprint divested Boost Mobile as a requirement for the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. The Boost Mobile acquisition closed on July 1, which gave DISH its 9 million subscribers and access to T-Mobile’s network for seven years, while DISH builds out its own network. The divestiture was required for regulatory approval from the DOJ and FCC for the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, which closed on April 1. Additionally, in April, DISH announced that it had a deal with Mavenir to help build its 5G network by 2023 to become the fourth telecommunications company in the United States.