Washington DC: Satellite television company Dish has acquired Ting Mobile, a small cellular service provider, in its final step to becoming a major nationwide operator.
According to The Verge, Ting launched in 2012 and had 286,000 subscribers as of July 2018, which makes it downright tiny. Since Ting relied on other carriers’ wireless networks, the acquisition really only gives Dish the brand image and the customers.
The biggest chunk of this deal is something most people won’t see: Ting’s parent company, internet services company Tucows, will provide backend mobile services for the nationwide network that Dish is building. This includes basic functions such as customer billing, phone activation and network provisioning – services Dish needs before it can launch a truly independent wireless service.
The TV network provider has been planning to enter the wireless market for years, but it only started in recent months.
On July 1, Dish’s acquisition of Boost Mobile closed, giving it 9 million subscribers and access to T-Mobile’s network for seven years. That timeframe is believed to be enough time for Dish to build its own nationwide wireless network, and Dish said it is now looking for vendors to expand its 5G infrastructure.
The Verge reported that these changes to the wireless market came in response to T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, which closed in April. Approval of the deal relied heavily on Dish’s desire to become a new national competitor.
To start, Dish purchased Boost and other prepaid assets from Sprint and gained temporary access to T-Mobile’s network. Now that those first steps are complete, see Dish can take steps to build its own service.