DISH to Acquire Republic Wireless

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1 month 5 days ago #1 by rolandh
Republic Wireless doesn't get much attention here, however, like Ting Mobile before it: www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dish-to-acquire-republic-wireless-301241950.html. Apparently, being an independent MVNO is no longer a viable business model.

In addition to the Republic and Ting transactions with DISH, Consumer Cellular was recently sold to private equity firm GTCR: www.dslreports.com/forum/r32925475-Bad-news-for-old-people-Consumer-Cellular-sold.

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1 month 5 days ago #2 by KentE
I was sorry to hear about Consumer Cellular-- not a great fit for me, but I think they were doing really well with targeting a particular market segment & providing good, differentiating, service to that market.

Republic was always an odd duckling. It will be interesting to see whether Dish maintains their unusual tech requirements, or is more interested in repurposing the brand.

I think being an independent MVNO has always been tough, especially finding a market niche. We seem to see smaller MVNOs who haven't found their niche bought out by larger MVNEs (who were likely already handling a lot of the back office work), and larger MVNOs who have found a niche bought out by investment firms or large businesses like Dish. In some ways, I think this indicates that being an MVNO is a viable business model, but that remaining independent is less likely. (The failures disappear, the successful ones are bought out. But for the most part, those larger companies seem to be content to let the MVNOs do all the sweaty work first.)

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1 month 5 days ago #3 by mmfacemm
If Dish wants to compete getting big fast is a good strategy.

Not as good for consumers though with more mvnos eaten up. I think though if the carriers can bring out decent plans themselves the MVNO market is going to start to become more and more redundant.

I reckon Tello won't last long at this rate.

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1 month 5 days ago #4 by KentE
A second read of the Dish article had me focusing on this:
"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"

Honestly, that points out a really cool application for Republic's WiFi First technology that hadn't ever occurred to me before. (Use within large facilities teams where communication is a must, but traditional cellphone coverage is problematic.)

I'm not sure where the split between Dish and Republic's 'relay' business will occur, but the situation above does seem to dovetail with Dish's need for a customer base while not having much of it's own (native) tower capability. Perhaps a much better acquisition than my first reaction....

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #5 by rolandh
One might think of Relay as more walkie-talkie than phone. Or, somewhat analogous to the old Nextel push-to-talk. Relay is entirely data based and, today, rides on TMO's, Sprint's and AT&T's (via GigSky) networks. Republic already more or less operates Relay as if it were a separate company complete with its own website: relaygo.com/.

As for DISH's 5G network, for now, that seems more aspirational than real.
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1 month 5 days ago #6 by LiterallyUnlimited
Per a conversation I had with an RW employee today, Relay looks like it's staying its own thing, but it would make sense if it starts using Dish's network.

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1 month 5 days ago #7 by rolandh
Indeed, Relay is staying its own thing. For all practical purposes, Relay's always been its own thing treated separately from Republic's cellular phone service. Unlike, Republic's cellular service, which is Android only, Relay's companion app runs on both Android and iOS. Relay uses an entirely separate account management portal and has a separate support structure within Republic. Republic cellular service is not a prerequisite for Relay service.

As a wholesale customer on DISH's forthcoming 5G network, it's simply adding another network option. I've not seen anything indicating Relay will exclusively use DISH's forthcoming 5G network. As mentioned in a previous post, Relay offers a choice of cellular networks today and there isn't necessarily a reason to believe that's changing as a result of this acquisition.

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1 month 4 days ago #8 by rolandh

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1 month 4 days ago - 1 month 4 days ago #9 by rolandh

mmfacemm post=51564 wrote: If Dish wants to compete getting big fast is a good strategy.

Not as good for consumers though with more mvnos eaten up. I think though if the carriers can bring out decent plans themselves the MVNO market is going to start to become more and more redundant.

I reckon Tello won't last long at this rate

 

Tello would seem to be an attractive target for someone though I have no idea what their subscriber base is. Tello, I believe, shares ownership with VoIP provider KeepCalling: keepcalling.com/. Perhaps, that makes them less likely to be interested in selling?

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1 month 3 days ago #10 by LiterallyUnlimited
The news has just hit the RW forums, and there's barely anything positive from the community: forums.republicwireless.com/t/a-letter-from-our-ceo-republic-wireless-joins-dish/35979

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