This morning came the news that Dish Network’s Chairman and founder Charlie Ergen will be reprising his role as Dish CEO once Joe Clayton (the current CEO) leaves his post at the end of next month. Well, in spite of that announcement only being a few hours ago, Ergen does not seem to be wasting any time in outlining his vision of Dish’s future. During a conference call today regarding Dish’s fourth quarter results, Ergen addressed some of the speculation we have seen in recent weeks.
To briefly recap, the speculation around Dish has come from the immense spectrum hunt the company has been on over recent times. As well as buying up multiple spectrum, Dish was extremely successful when it came to the most recent AWS-3 spectrum auction and were generally considered to be the ones who came out on top during this period. With an increasingly mounting spectrum stockpile emerging, rumors started circulating that Dish was positioning themselves quite nicely for some of the big carriers to start thinking about possibly partnerships. Well, last week, T-Mobile’s John Legere was quick out of the doors to show his support for a possible T-Mobile/Dish collaboration. Even going further on to suggest that any move Dish makes now (irrespective of T-Mobile’s involvement) will be in T-Mobile’s favor.
Well, Ergen did not particularly say they were planning on working with T-Mobile, although this option was not ruled out either. in fact, Ergen made it clear that Dish are prepared to work with any company when it comes to their new found spectrum stockpile. Ergen even hinted that they would be willing to work with partners outside of the wireless industry if needs be. What came as the overruling point Ergen was making is that they are less concerned with establishing dedicated partners but are more preoccupied with making sure video is at the forefront of the service utilized by their spectrum purchases. In short, video would be at the ‘core’ of any wireless service Dish decide to offer and with whomever.
In spite of any surety of a collaboration with T-Mobile, Ergen did highlight that he does think quite highly of T-Mobile and specifically were impressed with what the company had achieved over the last few years. Ergen also made the point that he expects the next few months to be highly conversation focused around Dish’s future and their spectrum stockpile.