Like Republic, DISH has a network partnership agreement with T-Mobile. DISH’s agreement is part of its previous acquisition of Boost Mobile, which, T-Mobile was required by the FCC to divest when it merged with Sprint. Boost was previously owned by Sprint. Presumably, DISH would inherit Republic’s network partnership with T-Mobile but as it already has its own, it wouldn’t seem to add any coverage.
In addition to Republic’s customers, DISH is acquiring the Republic Wireless brand (which is well thought of in the wireless industry). DISH is not acquiring Republic Wireless, Inc. per se. Republic Wireless, Inc. is to be renamed Relay, Inc. and will focus on Relay devices and service. Mr. Chuang, will remain the CEO of Relay, Inc. He will not be accompanying Republic’s customers and brand to DISH.
DISH is also acquiring “other assets” from Republic that may very well include Republic’s patented and proprietary blended or hybrid WiFi/cell calling and text messaging. DISH may continue to offer Republic’s proprietary technology or it may choose to use the WiFi calling and text messaging offered by its wireless network partner (currently T-Mobile). DISH intends to build out its own standalone 5G cellular network. It’s unclear, what role Republic’s proprietary blended WiFi/cell technology might play in that.
Wireless carrier calling and text messaging has come a long way since Republic pioneered its own technology in 2011. T-Mobile’s WiFi calling and text messaging once terrible is now very good. For me, wireless carrier based calling and text messaging though good suffers from the fact it is cellular rather than WiFi first (the opposite of Republic’s technology). In my experience, wireless carrier based WiFi calling and text messaging, at times, tries too hard to hold onto a weak cellular signal rather than switching to WiFi when indoors.
On the other hand, Republic’s proprietary technology is why, to date, Republic has chosen not to support iPhones. It’s also why the pain point (for some Republic members) noted here exists: Your phone number was rejected by Venmo, Twitter, a bank, or other third party service. Why?.
Time will tell whether a DISH owned Republic chooses to move away from its current blended WiFi/cell technology or, perhaps, whether DISH finds a way to integrate that technology in a way that makes iPhone support possible and relieves the pain point of some services refusing VoIP numbers. Until further notice, it’s status quo.