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Dish Network’s Wireless Plans On Hold After FCC Ruling

August 25, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Dish Network is a direct-broadcast satellite service provider company with a known ambition for expansion and overall growth. Over the last few months, there has been some strong rumors and reports that point out how most of the different satellite service providers in the United States, including Dish, are already planning to enter the wireless network market, but unfortunately for Dish, its vision of becoming a wireless network carrier might be a little further away than the company previously thought. Back in 2013, the first major hit to Dish’s possible carrier future was dealt when the company was outbid in an auction to acquire Sprint. Winning said auction would have given Dish a quick entry to the wireless network market, teaming up with Sprint to launch their own network. Last week, yet another major hit was taken by Dish, as the FCC dictated that a $3.3 billion discount for an airwave auction was not going to be made valid. Without the FCC’s approval, Dish must now pay around $13.3 billion for a spectrum that has an important role in the process of creating and launching a brand new wireless network.

Dish has been having a rough time as a company over the last few years, as not only its plans of becoming a wireless network provider has been frustrated, but also its overall paid television service, as it is suffering from a significant decline in the number of users; losing over 80,000 subscribers over this year’s second quarter. Launching a wireless network is one of Dish’s efforts to gain back some of its lost customers, but after the recent FCC ruling, said effort will become a bit more drastic. Dish has until 2017 to put at least half of their $50 billion supply of airwaves to good use, as the company is required by law to utilize them.

So, what is Dish going to do after failing to purchase a relatively small carrier and owing an even greater amount of money? According to Dish’s Co-founder, Charlie Ergen, the company’s dreams of becoming a wireless carrier might have already come to an abrupt end, and instead Dish could separate into two well-focused sections, its satellite-TV business and Sling TV, the company’s new streaming-video service which shows great promise. Hopefully, the recent difficulties that Dish has gone through won’t be enough to tumble the company’s ambitious plans, as a new competitor entering the stalling carrier market would be beneficial to everyone.