Navy re-ups multi-billion wireless deal with all 3 big U.S. MNOs

T-Mobile has announced that it has been selected as a wireless solutions provider by the U.S. Navy for the next 10 years, as part of the $2.67 billion Spiral 4 contract renewal, which all of the big 3 U.S. mobile operators are a part of.

The massive new government contract replaces the previous iteration, Spiral 3, which started in 2017. Since then, 5G has started to replace 4G in the U.S. wireless landscape and T-Mobile has acquired one of its major rivals, Sprint. So, you know, no major changes!

T-Mobile noted that it has introduced Government Internet, a $45 a month 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) service for critical communications to serve as a main or backup internet connection for government agencies. It can now also offer 5G private and hybrid networks to meet the specific performance needs of those agencies.

Recon Analytics lead analyst Roger Entner agreed on a phone call with Fierce that T-Mobile’s direct-to-device satellite deal with SpaceX may potentially help it with ‘blue water’ coverage over the ocean and “some military operations… like 29 Palms.” 

It should be noted that the U.S. Navy has already started to deploy SpaceX’s Starlink satellite dishes on some of its vessels.

Allied Rivals

Verizon Public Sector also recently said it will provide the navy with wireless devices and services under the Spiral 4 contract. EchoStar, too, already highlighted its contract.

U.S. government contractor specialist Washington Technology noted that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon as well as MetTel, EchoStar through Hughes Network Systems, RealMobile and WidePoint had all bid on and qualified for the Spiral 4 contract renewal in May.

“The government tries to multi-source services from all the providers,” Entner said. “They have major communications needs, some from T-Mobile, some from Verizon, and some from AT&T…It’s usually very hard to get one of these contracts, but once you have, it’s also very hard to lose it,” he noted.

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