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Dish boosts fibre offer with AT&T deal

fibre broadband

Dish Network is boosting its fixed Internet service portfolio via a new distribution deal with AT&T that will allow it to extend its fibre reach.

Interestingly, while AT&T is shouting about the deal, there has been no announcement from Dish itself as of yet. And despite the fact that AT&T’s announcement notes that the deal is effectively immediately – as of Wednesday, that is – there is no mention of the new partner on Dish’s website. Presumably it’s just a matter of time, since the provider lists its various suppliers for Internet services, including DSL, fixed wireless, cable, satellite and fibre; in that last category, its partners include Frontier, Cox and CenturyLink.

The inclusion of AT&T will naturally add further strings to Dish’s bow in the consumer Internet market.

“Adding AT&T Internet to our robust lineup of TV and home integration services enhances our ability to provide better overall service, technology and value to our customers,” said Amir Ahmed, executive vice president of DISH TV, in AT&T’s statement. Presumably the deal also improves Dish’s reach.

The deal comes (fairly) hot on the heels of the multi-billion-dollar mobile network services agreement Dish brokered with AT&T last summer. Worth in excess of $5 billion over 10 years, that partnership will see Dish use AT&T’s mobile infrastructure for its Boost Mobile MVNO, for roaming purposes, and to extend its 5G footprint.

That long-awaited 5G launch finally happened earlier this month, albeit with very little fanfare, and the service is still only available in a limited area of Las Vegas. The telco has until mid-June to reach 20 percent population coverage, which seems to be a big ask, but comments from various company executives in recent months suggest it is confident of hitting that target.

The operator is building out a cloud-native network based on open RAN technology, and earlier this month announced its latest equipment supplier deal, with Samsung. It also told Light Reading this week that, despite having inked a high-profile public cloud deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its 5G network last summer, it is open to working with other cloud services partners. Specifically, “we are hybrid multicloud,” telecoms.com’s sister company quoted Sidd Chenumolu, Dish’s vice president of technology development, as saying at its Big 5G Event.

That kind of flexibility, and its choice of network architecture, will help Dish to meet its 5G rollout targets in the US, which include a requirement to cover 70 percent of the population by June 2023.

It has AT&T on board to assist with the rest. And now, AT&T is there to lend a hand with the firm’s fixed Internet offer too. All in all, Dish is starting to look very much like a full-service operator, which is doubtless what the regulators had in mind when they forced the sale of Boost Mobile to a fourth national player almost two years ago.

 

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