Dish Thinks Sprint Dropping out of Buying T-Mobile “Increases” their Wireless Options

August 6, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

It’s no secret. Charlie Ergen, the CEO of DISH, has been looking to get into the wireless business for quite some time. They tried to buy Sprint but Softbank beat them in the wallet to Sprint. And now with the collapse of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger, Ergen thinks that this gives his company more wireless options for jumping into the wireless game. Today DISH held their Q2 earnings call, and of course there were questions about the collapse of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger. Ergen stated that he and DISH’s executives “had a chance to sit down and discuss it internally. We remain interested in working to enhance our overall business.” 

Right now there’s only one deal actively on the table for T-Mobile USA, and that’s from French carrier Iliad. Their offer was for $15 billion, which Deutsche Telekom quickly declined, but rumors have said that Iliad has worked to make it better, and might be working with DISH on an even better deal. When talking about the Wireless industry Ergen stated “there’s always people who are going to help us and we’re willing to take a lot of help.” He noted that “we are not experts in the wireless business today.” And later added “We always are learning stuff, and if people can help us and a business deal makes sense, that’s something we’ll consider.”

For now – at least – it appears that T-Mobile will be competing with AT&T and Verizon solo. T-Mobile USA’s CEO, John Legere, has gone on record to say that they don’t need a merger with Sprint to compete with AT&T and Verizon. As they have already had great momentum in the past year since John Legere took over as CEO of the company.

According to Fierce Wireless

“New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin wrote in a research note that T-Mobile “will likely face some pressure,” but that “there are other credible bidders/partners that should preserve some bid premium. AT&T and Verizon would have fared better in the event of a deal, with Sprint in limbo and bleeding subs; now they will have to contend with what are likely to be aggressive moves from Sprint.””

While T-Mobile is still the smallest national carrier, they actually do have a chance, especially after picking up a boatload of 700MHz spectrum from Verizon and other regional carriers. With the upcoming spectrum auction in 2015, it could get even more interesting.