AT&T and DISH sign $5 billion deal to create a wireless network

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Getting services to rural America is one of the goals of the pact

Time to add another partnership to the growing list of telecom, broadband, and content services that have come together to bolster their position. On Monday, AT&T and DISH announced that they’ve inked a deal that will make AT&T the primary network services partner for DISH customers. 

As part of the agreement, DISH will provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands -- Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile, and Republic Wireless -- access to coverage and connectivity on AT&T's wireless network, in addition to DISH’s 5G network. 

"Teaming with AT&T on this long-term partnership will allow us to better compete in the retail wireless market and quickly respond to changes in our customers' evolving connectivity needs as we build our own first-of-its kind 5G network," said John Swieringa, DISH COO and Group President of Retail Wireless. 

"The agreement provides enhanced coverage and service for our Boost, Ting and Republic customers, giving them access to the best connectivity on the market today via voice, messaging, data and nationwide roaming on AT&T's vast network, as well as DISH's 5G network." 

Bigger, faster...

In a parade of superlatives, both AT&T and DISH crowed loudly about what this partnership will create.

For one thing, DISH says it will solidify the company as the U.S.’ fourth facilities-based carrier. For its part, AT&T is being handed the opportunity to use a portion of DISH's spectrum in various markets to help support DISH customers on AT&T's network. 

As a duo, the deal is something that should make the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) happy. If all goes according to plan, it should boost DISH's expansion of retail wireless distribution to rural markets where it provides satellite TV services. 

"Teaming with DISH on this agreement is not only a testament to the strength of our network, but it further validates the investments we've made in our fiber and wireless infrastructure," said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Consumer. "We welcome DISH wireless and its customers to the nation's largest and best wireless network for all of their streaming, data and roaming needs." 

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