After more than a year of regulatory battles, the. The head of antitrust of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Makan Delrahim, announced on Friday July 26 that the DOJ approve the agreement, because the T-Mobile parent, Deutsche Telekom, signed an agreement to sell , creating a new wireless service provider in the United States.
Under the agreement, Dish acquire wireless spectrum, Sprint prepaid brands such as Boost, Virgin Mobile and Prepaid Sprint, as well as network agreements that will allow Dish to use the T-Mobile network for seven years, while developing its own network .
T-Mobile and Sprint will also have to give Dish access to "at least 20,000 mobile sites," as well as "hundreds of retail stores."
The measure allows Dish to quickly enter the wireless business when accessing the T-Mobile network. Meanwhile, T-Mobile will combine with Sprint to create a much stronger competitor for AT&T and Verizon in the wireless market.
The agreements will shape the wireless industry in unexpected ways. T-Mobile has argued that its merger with Sprint will increase its 5G implementation across the country, in addition to expanding the reach and scale of its customers to compete head-on with AT&T and Verizon. The agreements also allow Dish to boost its wireless ambitions, although it is not clear how competitive it will be against the most entrenched players in the market.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile acquire a larger size and an important customer base to better compete with its larger rivals.
"With this merger and the divestment that accompanies it, we are expanding production significantly by ensuring that the large amounts of spectrum currently unused or underutilized are available to US consumers in the form of high-quality 5G networks," Delrahim said. a statement.
"The agreement announced today will provide Dish with the necessary transition assets and services to become a mobile network operator that can provide a full range of mobile wireless services throughout the country," he added.
Dish has long sought to enter the wireless business. The company has been accumulating billions of dollars in radio spectrum in recent auctions, facing a deadline of March 2020 to put into use or risk losing its license. Dish previously said it was working on a narrowband wireless network for "Internet of Things" devices, such as smart thermostats, energy meters, traffic lights and security systems, although that network is not designed for mobile phones and tablets.
Dish has made many promises for an eventual 5G wireless network. But now, through the T-Mobile offer, you can offer wireless call, text message and data services on the combined T-Mobile-Sprint network while developing your own service.
The challenges to come
While the Justice Department decision paves the way for a T-Mobile-Sprint merger, it has not yet been signed and finalized.
Thirteen state attorney generals, as well as the District of Columbia, have filed a multi-state lawsuit to block the deal because they result in higher prices and less competition. Although the new agreement paves the way for Dish to replace Sprint as a fourth wireless service provider, it remains to be seen if the states will continue their legal action.
In addition to negotiating an agreement between T-Mobile and Dish, the DOJ also reached an agreement with five general state treasury offices: Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. An agreement has not yet been reached with New York or California, which are leading the lawsuit against the merger.
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