Dish Network seems to be hot these days. With many of the wireless carriers having talks with Dish Network or about Dish Network. T-Mobile’s CEO had came out stated that they wouldn’t be opposed to making a deal with Dish Network to use or buy their spectrum. Which Dish has quite a bit of spectrum that they’ve been buying up at auctions in recent years. Dish has been looking to get into the wireless industry, but have had trouble. They tried to buy Sprint, but SoftBank swooped in and grabbed that. They were also in talks to buy T-Mobile, but that obviously didn’t happen.
Verizon’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, was speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference and stated that they aren’t interested in buying Dish, but have talked about how they could work with Dish to leverage the spectrum they have. Verizon’s McAdam stated that Dish’s plan is “not consistent with a strategy of where we see the market going.” Now that could also be because Verizon is working on their own video streaming service in Go90, which should be launching here pretty soon. However, McAdam did indicate that the company would be open to having discussions about reasonable commercial terms for Dish’s spectrum assets, and that Verizon would not purchase Dish just to get the spectrum.
Currently, Dish controls around 40MHz of mid-band AWS-4 spectrum and 10MHz of 1900 PCS H Block spectrum. And they are likely going to buy more in the incentive auction that’s slated for the beginning of 2016. In the recent auction, they picked up around 702 AWS-3 licenses. Which will add a significant amount of spectrum to their portfolio. Verizon would be interested in the AWS-4 and AWS-3 spectrum, since it would work great with the spectrum they are already using.
As of now, Dish has not publicly stated how it plans to deploy their spectrum or even how to they plan to use it. But it would be a good thing for them to work with one of the carriers to share it, or even sell it. Instead of letting spectrum sit around in their pocket being unused, while carriers are scrambling for more and more spectrum.