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Report: Dish CEO Charlie Ergen finally gets his spectrum

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Report: Dish CEO Charlie Ergen finally gets his spectrum
Last year was a tough one for Dish Network CEO Charles Ergen. Trying to interject himself into the SoftBank acquisition of Sprint, Dish's bid for all of the carrier never was financed and SoftBank won the prize. The same thing happened when Dish tried to steal Clearwire out from under Sprint's grasp. Ergen has dreams of turning Dish into a major U.S. wireless carrier and has been trying to purchase the necessary spectrum needed to make his dreams come true. Ergen tried next to buy the spectrum owned by bankrupt LightSquared, but recently withdrew a $2.2 billion bid.

But there finally is some good news for Dish and its embattled CEO. According to published reports, the satellite content provider is about to be declared the winner of a government auction of H-Block spectrum. The price is $1.56 billion, according to a source, and the purchase will make Dish the fifth largest holder of spectrum. The source also added that the victory for Dish is a big loss for Sprint. Dish now can decide to turn itself into a wireless carrier, lease the spectrum to a third party, or turn around and sell it for a short term profit.

On Wednesday, Ergen also said that he would not interfere if Sprint were to make a bid for T-Mobile. U.S. regulators have already revealed their wariness toward letting such a transaction go through. But the banks have the financing in place, and according to Ergen, all Sprint and T-Mobile need to do is work out a break-up fee before starting on the long journey that would see the third largest carrier in the U.S. gobble up number four. Having Dish in the wings waiting to start up a new wireless business might make it easier for a Sprint-T-Mobile deal to pass muster with U.S. regulatory agencies.

source: NYPost, WSJ

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posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:19

1. WillieFDiaz (Posts: 66; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


You mean, "see the 4th largest carrier gobble up the 3rd largest" - T-Mobile is larger than Sprint in terms of actual branded customers. Sprint leases out much of its network to MVNOs and wholesale yet includes them in the customer count as their own. T-Mobile does the same, however, T-Mobile has a larger "T-Mobile brand" customer count than Sprint has a larger "Sprint brand" customer count, and that includes Boost and Virgin Mobile in that figure.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:31 3

3. lsutigers (Posts: 772; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


Hate to break it to you but T-Mobile whores out it's network about as much as Sprint. Sprint only has a few more MVNO's than TMO.

BTW, AT&T and Verizon do exactly the same thing, its a way to monetize your investment and pay for massive infrastructure costs incurred by network operators. It happens all over the world and carriers count their MVNO's as their own customers.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:29 1

2. lsutigers (Posts: 772; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


I think Softbank's Masayoshi Son will use this to strengthen his argument of Sprint buying T-Mobile. The gov't wanted 4 carriers and it looks like Dish will be the forth allowing the merger to happen. Softbank is relentless when it comes to M&A and I really don't see them raising prices once Sprint and TMO are combined, they will continue their aggressive strategy to chip away market share from AT&T and Verizon. This is what Softbank did in Japan and it worked well.

On the other hand, IF the merger goes through it will put Softbank/Sprint/TMO with about 142 million subs which is above Verizon and AT&T in terms of subscribers

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 15:59

4. Miracles (Posts: 560; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)


Screw you DISH....I don't want Sprint or rather SoftBank to own T-Mobile. Well I do have DISH TV service...but I know they will charge one hell of a price for wireless service.

posted on 28 Feb 2014, 17:06

5. atlvideoguy (Posts: 42; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)


What dish needs to do is start its own wireless broadband service that's where money to be made is.

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