Dish Network confirmed this Monday that it has signed a multi-year agreement worth at least $5 billion to make AT&T the premier wireless network services partner.
Under the signed terms, AT&T will provide voice, data and messaging services to customers of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) Boost Mobile, Ting and Republic Wireless.
Dish’s wireless customers in the United States will also have access to voice and data roaming services on AT&T’s network, the company said.
Dish plans to expand its 5G network to 70% of the US population by 2023. As with its TV service, rural markets are central to its strategy.
Dish has 8.89 million wireless subscribers in its latest quarterly report, while AT&T has more than 186 million mobile subscribers.
Telecommunications companies are spending billions to augment their 5G infrastructure to provide faster data services and better coverage, the demand for which has soared due to the shift to telecommuting brought about by the pandemic.
“Partnering with AT&T in this long-term partnership will allow us to better compete in the wireless market and quickly respond to our customers’ changing connectivity needs as we build our own unique 5G network,” said John Swieringa, Dish COO and President of the group.
“Partnering with Dish in this agreement is not only a testament to the strength of our network, but also a reinforcement of the improvements we’ve made to our fiber and wireless infrastructure,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer.
AT&T said it has invested more than $140 billion in its wireless and wired networks. “We welcome Dish Wireless and its customers to the largest and best wireless network in the country for all their streaming, data and roaming needs.”