Dish Network® Buys Denver-Based Tech Startup ParkiFi

Dish TV
IoT-Based Products

Dish Network® has acquired ParkiFi, a tech company that offers parking sensors that work over a cloud-based platform. The acquisition has more to do with Dish Network’s future as a wireless provider and has little to do with their satellite TV offering.

“I think 80 percent of the ParkiFi team’s experience goes beyond parking,” said Tom Cullen, the Executive Vice President of Dish®, who also oversees their wireless space. “Once we started talking, our research showed that parking is a big market and an adequate opportunity for us to compete in. But beyond parking, there’s a number of other applications and verticals that internet of things can address and their expertise from design, development and IP development can influence or extend into those other (areas).”

By acquiring ParkiFi, Dish® dives into the development of IoT-based products just as the satellite giant prepares to expand wireless network nationwide. Dish Network® is also expanding their wireless network in order to let devices like parking sensors and gas meters to communicate with parking operators efficiently.

Wireless Provider
High Speed Internet

FCC mandates Dish® to roll out its wireless spectrum by expanding the network by March 2020. Last spring, the founder and Chief Executive of Dish Network®, Charlie Ergen, said that they will build a network for IoT-based devices. Even though Ergen gave up the CEO post in December last year, he contacted Ryan Sullivan, the co-founder of ParkiFi, to understand how they functioned and what needs to be equipped in the network of Dish®.

ParkiFi developed software and hardware in order to help the drivers find available parking spots simply by pressing a button on a mobile application designed by the tech startup. It also built a sensor, which communicates with the operator if and when an empty parking space becomes available or unavailable.

“The (ParkiFi) brand is staying. The only thing changing is that we’re retiring the mobile app. But regardless of going to Dish®, we were going down that path anyway,” said Ryan Sullivan, who is now part of the IT team of Dish® alongside other employees of ParkiFi. “Our data is what we are really focused on — the analysis and analytics of where you can find a parking spot, how long will it be available and where should you go (nearby) to a restaurant. That’s what we do. With Dish® behind us, we’ll be able to offer that data to Google maps, Apple maps and other consumer endpoints.”

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