US satellite TV giant DISH Network – which recently completed the USD1.4 billion acquisition of Boost Mobile – has sealed the surprise takeover of Tucows-backed MVNO Ting Mobile. Effective 1 August 2020, most Ting Mobile customers across the US became customers of DISH. These users will continue to utilise their current phones and, like the acquired Boost subscribers, the Ting Mobile customers will gain access to the enlarged T-Mobile US network. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Ting served 271,700 mobile users as of 31 March 2020.
DISH will continue to use the Ting Mobile brand for the near term, with the option to purchase the brand for agreed-upon consideration. Tucows will continue to operate its fibre business under the Ting Internet name; if DISH chooses to retain the brand, Tucows will rename Ting Fiber. As a result of the sale, Tucows will reposition itself as a mobile services enabler (MSE), delivering functions including billing, activation, provisioning, and funnel marketing to mobile providers. DISH will become the first Tucows mobile technology customer.
Discussing the deal, Elliot Noss, President and CEO of Tucows, commented: ‘Strategically, our move from an MVNO business to the MSE model aligns with our longstanding belief that leveraging Tucows’ core competencies and technology platforms to manage complex business processes is a competitive advantage that is key to our continued growth … There is no consideration at close. Instead Tucows will receive a fair value earnout for the life of the Ting Mobile subscribers. We expect our mobile business to now generate margins over time in excess of Ting Mobile’s previous margins.’
In other news, DISH has enlisted a new vendor to work on its ongoing rollout of what it claims is the US’s first 5G, cloud-native Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN). VMware has been selected to deploy the cloud platform, which it says will ‘combine the efficiency of the distributed telco cloud, public cloud and private cloud environments while delivering consistent, low-latency edge computing’. DISH and VMware say that they have already tested and onboarded dozens of cloud-native 5G network functions from multiple software vendors on top of the VMware Telco Cloud.