SoftBank recently offered to pay $20 billion to acquire 70 percent of Sprint. Dish on Monday offered a greater $25.5 billion to merge with the U.S. carrier instead. Dish said its deal is a better offer for Sprint shareholders because it takes less ownership in the company and is providing more cash. The potential merger includes  $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock, which would mean Sprint shareholders would receive $7 for every share of Sprint owned.

"The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal," said Charlie Ergen, Chairman of DISH Network. "Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined DISH/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal."

The merger would require regulatory nods and a vote in favor of the deal from Sprint's shareholders. A similar vote is ongoing as MetroPCS shareholders vote on whether or not to approve an offer made by T-Mobile USA's parent Deutsche Telekom.