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5G

Dish adds former T-Mobile exec Mayo to 5G buildout recipe

Dish Network said it hired Dave Mayo, a former top executive with T-Mobile, as its new EVP of network development. The company said he would be responsible for Dish's "wireless buildout strategy and execution of the company's deployment of the nation's first standalone 5G network."

A company representative confirmed that Mayo would relocate to Denver, where Dish is headquartered, where he will join other top Dish executives like Stephen Bye, Tom Cullen, Jeff McSchooler and Marc Rouanne. They are leading the company's wireless networking efforts.

Mayo's hiring is part of a wider front-office reshuffling at Dish. In an announcement late Monday, the company also said Jeff Blum was promoted to EVP of external and legislative affairs; John Swieringa will be Dish's group president of "retail wireless" in addition to COO; and that Michael Schwimmer will be Dish's new Sling TV president, replacing Warren Schlichting.

The executive announcements from Dish reflect several major moving parts within the company's business – including its apparent intention to follow through with the purchase of roughly 10 million prepaid customers from T-Mobile as it works to build its own 5G network.

However, a Dish spokesperson confirmed to Light Reading that Dish has not closed its acquisition of T-Mobile's Boost prepaid customers. Under the terms of the agreement between Dish and T-Mobile inked last year, Dish can finalize its $1.4 billion purchase of T-Mobile's 10 million Boost-branded prepaid customers anytime before July 1, 2020.

And, based on Dish's new executive reshuffling announced Monday, it appears that John Swieringa will be the person who will be in charge of those Boost customers. "As the new Group President, Retail Wireless, John will be responsible for Dish's retail wireless business, including strategy, operations and sales, in addition to his duties as COO, overseeing the company's customer experience operations, IT and billing and credit functions. John will continue to report to Dish CEO Erik Carlson," the company wrote in a release.

The developments at Dish further position the company to complete its transaction with T-Mobile and officially enter the US wireless industry. The groundwork for that development was laid in 2019 via negotiations among Dish, T-Mobile and the Department of Justice; the DoJ essentially positioned Dish to replace Sprint as the nation's fourth nationwide wireless network operator as part of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. To do so, first Dish will purchase 10 million Boost-branded prepaid customers from T-Mobile, and will manage those customers as an MVNO of T-Mobile. Meantime, it will begin building its own 5G network.

Mayo had been in charge of T-Mobile's fixed wireless and IoT operations until he left the operator last year. During his time at T-Mobile, Mayo led the strategic, development and financial areas for T-Mobile's network organization over the course of two decades at the company.

"In this capacity, Dave had business management responsibility for approximately $10 billion in annual capital and operating costs and developed and drove key strategic network initiatives," according to Mayo's biography from Dish.

That figure is noteworthy considering Dish has said it plans to spend roughly $10 billion to construct its own nationwide 5G wireless network.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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