Dish Picks up the H-Block Spectrum for $1.56 Billion

March 3, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Dish has been trying to get into the wireless game for quite a while, as they already have quite a bit of spectrum, and now they’ve just picked up even more. In the past, they tried to buy Sprint but Softbank beat them to that. They then attempted to buy Clearwire out from under Sprint, and that didn’t work out too well either. While we have no idea what Dish Network is planning to do next, it looks like they still haven’t given up on becoming a wireless carrier.

The recent H-Block spectrum auction here in the US is officially over and the FCC has announced the bidder. That would be Dish, they snapped up all 176 licenses , which is one license for each economic area. They reportedly are paying the total reserve price of $1.564 billion. The H-Block comprises of small 5MHz slice of spectrum, both on the downlink and the uplink, in the 1915-1920MHz and the 1995-2000MHz frequency bands.

We already knew that Dish had agreed to pay that sum up front and was the favorite to win after Sprint. Which the number three operator in the US had ruled itself out of the running for the H-Block spectrum. The H-Block spectrum was part of the FCC’s goal to release an extra 500MHz in spectrum within 10 years for commercial mobile uses. The FCC will be using the auction proceeds to help fund a nationwide wireless public safety network, “with this successful auction, the commissions makes good on its commitment to unleash more spectrum for consumers and businesses, delivering a significant down payment towards funding the nationwide interoperable public safety network,” stated the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler.

So now the question is, when will Dish Network use this spectrum? They have a ton of spectrum just sitting around waiting to be used. It’d be nice to have another competitor out there in the wireless game. What do all of you think? Could Dish be a good competitor to the likes of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile?