DISH to acquire Republic Wireless (1 Viewer)

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Scott Greczkowski

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DISH to acquire Republic Wireless​

DISH will acquire all Republic Wireless subscribers and the Republic Wireless brand, subject to regulatory approval​

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- DISH Network Corporation today announced its plans to acquire Republic Wireless, an MVNO service operating on the T-Mobile network. Upon close, DISH will assume approximately 200,000 customer relationships, the Republic Wireless brand and other supporting assets. Once acquired by DISH, Republic customers will not see any immediate changes to their experience or plans, and there is no need for customers to take action.

"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," said John Swieringa, group president, Retail Wireless and DISH COO. "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."

After the acquisition closes, the existing Relay division of Republic Wireless will continue to operate as a standalone company and will become a wholesale customer on DISH's 5G network. Relay provides communication and productivity solutions for frontline teams in hospitality, facilities management, manufacturing, healthcare and education, and will remain headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

Republic was formed in 2011 with the goal of delivering "wireless service the way it should be." The business has become known for simple, affordable service with a customer-centric approach to support.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Upon close, Rob Currie, DISH senior vice president of Ting Mobile and MVNO platforms, will lead the Republic Wireless business.
 
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MrDRC

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ncted

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I know a number of people who work at Republic HQ. They've been looking to get bought out for quite a while now. At first they thought it would be Google, but then Google decided to build Fi on their own. There have been several other suitors over the years, but it seemed like no one wanted to pay the high price. Republic actually has some really interesting intellectual property that should make it attractive to own if you are running a wireless network. I suspect this is largely about getting access to that tech and potentially keeping it away from others or licensing it out as an additional revenue stream.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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I suspect this is largely about getting access to that tech and potentially keeping it away from others or licensing it out as an additional revenue stream.
I think it’s more of getting access to towers across the country so that they don’t have to enter into new agreements to go on them.

That’s a big savings of time and money.




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ncted

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I think it’s more of getting access to towers across the country so that they don’t have to enter into new agreements to go on them.

That’s a big savings of time and money.




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Unless something has changed in the past year or so, Republic doesn't have any significant numbers of antennas on towers. I assume you mean the contracts Republic has with mobile networks. They primarily used Sprint's and T-Mobile's networks which, presumably, Dish already has access to, so not sure how much it really gains Dish. Republic have the best multi-network handoff and wi-fi calling to "cellular" handoff tech, which I assume still applies to 5G handoffs as well. This allows them to contract with any mobile provider for access, and the customer doesn't have to care whose tower they are connecting to -- it just works. Google Fi works similarly, but not as well. Dish could presumably use this tech to get access to Verzion and AT&T towers too, if they could get those two to play ball.
 
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TheKrell

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Republic actually has some really interesting intellectual property...
What tech? The handoff you describe below?
Republic have the best multi-network handoff and wi-fi calling to "cellular" handoff tech, which I assume still applies to 5G handoffs as well. This allows them to contract with any mobile provider for access, and the customer doesn't have to care whose tower they are connecting to -- it just works.
How does that work? Remains on the same frequencies and switches mobile providers? Or is there some way to switch frequencies as well?
 

navychop

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Has to be a way to switch frequencies. Different companies use different combinations of frequencies.
 
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Juan

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What tech? The handoff you describe below?

How does that work? Remains on the same frequencies and switches mobile providers? Or is there some way to switch frequencies as well?
Republic is a reseller..all they have are contracts to use other carriers facilities
 

ncted

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What tech? The handoff you describe below?

How does that work? Remains on the same frequencies and switches mobile providers? Or is there some way to switch frequencies as well?
That is the stuff I would think Dish would find most attractive, yes. As long as the phone can receive the frequencies, it can switch to whatever network is available to it, at least with Android. The hard part is the call and data routing during the handoff from one carrier to another. As for exactly how they do it, I am not privy to those details.
 
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ncted

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Republic is a reseller..all they have are contracts to use other carriers facilities
Correct, and Republic and Fi are the only ones I know of that can do the seamless handoff between disparate carriers. Republic's handoff is more seamless than Fi.
 
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MrDRC

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Dish could presumably use this tech to get access to Verzion and AT&T towers too, if they could get those two to play ball.

Dish is in a relatively strong position for access. The DOJ seems committed to ensuring consumers have access to more choices rather than fewer. For now they get to ride T-Mobile but that agreement expires next year. They'll either extend the deal or make a deal with Verizon or ATT. No way the DOJ is going to allow more constriction in the market.
 

ncted

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Dish is in a relatively strong position for access. The DOJ seems committed to ensuring consumers have access to more choices rather than fewer. For now they get to ride T-Mobile but that agreement expires next year. They'll either extend the deal or make a deal with Verizon or ATT. No way the DOJ is going to allow more constriction in the market.
I was speaking of hypotheticals. Either way, Dish got 7 years of T-Mobile access starting July 1, 2020, so they have a good bit of runway there.
 
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MrDRC

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Not entirely sure about 5G. That reporting I can find isn't that specific. I would guess it is LTE only since it isn't explicitly spelled out.

There's no question Dish has a lot of work to do. However, the definitions section of their various filings specifically state:

"T-Mobile Network” means the wireless network generally accessible to Customers and to DISH and its End Users (i.e., currently LTE), and including future updates, improvements or releases to such network technologies
 
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