T-Mobile, Dish entice Colorado to drop its merger opposition

A Dish office in Littleton, Colorado, where its wireless employees will work. (Dish Network)

The state of Colorado has dropped out of the lawsuit filed by several state attorneys general to stop the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

Apparently, Colorado’s attorney general was enticed by promises made by T-Mobile and Dish Network. T-Mobile promised to heavily deploy 5G across Colorado. And Dish Network, already a big employer in the state, has promised to add 2,000 more jobs as it builds out a greenfield 5G network.

RELATED: Dish issues the third RFP for its 5G greenfield network

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The satellite company said its new wireless headquarters will be located in the Denver metro area. In addition, Colorado will be one of the first 10 states in which Dish will build its 5G facilities-based network. Dish expects to employ 2,000 full-time employees working primarily on wireless within three years following the closing of Dish’ acquisition of the prepaid mobile assets owned by Sprint, primarily the Boost Mobile business.

“Today’s settlement with Colorado positions Dish, a company founded in Colorado, to make a transformative impact on the wireless market,” said Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen in a statement.

The Dish 5G network is contingent on the $26.5 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. And those two carriers seem to have embarked on a strategy to strike deals with the attorney generals of the states that have filed suit against the merger.

Colorado is the second state to drop out of the lawsuit. Mississippi bowed out earlier this month.

RELATED: Mississippi’s switcheroo on T-Mobile/Sprint unique - analyst

In its agreement with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, T-Mobile has promised to significantly build out a statewide 5G network, particularly in rural areas. Within six years of the closing date, New T-Mobile has promised to have deployed a 5G network in Colorado with at least 92% of the Colorado population having access to download speeds of 100 Mbps; and at least 74% of the state’s rural population having access to those same download speeds.

This deal is similar to the promises T-Mobile made to Mississippi, a state that's also concerned about wireless coverage in its rural areas.

However, T-Mobile and Sprint still face the attorneys general of 15 other states, including New York and California, along with Washington, D.C., when their lawsuit begins on December 9.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “We remain committed to challenging this merger and have continued to develop strong evidence that it is bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation.”

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