Dish brings more people to T-Mobile as it continues to prepare its big 5G rollout
After taking an unexpectedly (and unnecessarily) long time to close a transaction with T-Mobile that seemed like a done deal the moment Magenta officially completed its own Sprint takeover four months ago, Dish Network just caught us off guard by announcing an agreement that no one saw coming.
According to Ting Mobile, Dish's new daughter operator, this deal had been in the works for months as well. The reason why we didn't hear any rumors about the acquisition before Dish and Ting "signed and sealed" an agreement, of course, might have something to do with the latter's size.
While Boost was certainly not a major force of the US wireless industry when Dish snapped it up alongside other prepaid assets previously owned by Sprint, Ting is an outright minuscule MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). With less than 300,000 customers under its belt, the company may even seem like a meaningless addition to a user base that includes more than 9 million people subscribed to Boost Mobile as of July 1.
But Ting's greater value probably lies in its current parent company. Called Tucows, this has been selected as a key Dish technology partner for its retail wireless business under the terms of the same far-reaching deal. Its role will consist of offering Dish so-called "Mobile Services Enabler (MSE) solutions", including everything from customer billing to phone activation and network provisioning.
These services are essential for Dish's future in the incredibly competitive and challenging wireless landscape, as the "new Sprint" aims to build a 5G network like no other in the US right now from scratch. In addition to a lot of infrastructure work, said standalone 5G network will need all of the above solutions delivered by Tucows.
Until Dish flips the 5G switch later this year or in early 2021, existing Ting Mobile customers can rest assured knowing that they're free to keep their accounts untouched for however long they want. Even the Ting brand will survive this deal, and just like Boost Mobile customers, you can look forward to gaining access to the new and rapidly improving (at least according to some) T-Mobile network.