Analysts: Verizon Will Likely Make a Deal with Dish for Spectrum

Dish has been quietly picking up wireless spectrum left and right over the past few years, by taking part in multiple spectrum auctions held by the FCC. But they have yet to actually use that spectrum for anything. Many analysts believe that they are going to sell or at least license the spectrum out to another wireless carrier (perhaps in exchange for a MVNO agreement, similar to what Comcast and Charter have done). There's been a lot of speculation about who it could be, and now multiple analysts are pointing towards Verizon being the likely suitor. However, while they do believe Verizon will be the one to make a deal with Dish, it's unclear when this deal would happen.

Now, this deal won't be happening in the immediate future, and that's because both Dish and Verizon are taking part in the current 600MHz auction with the FCC. Due to this spectrum auction going on right now, they are not able to talk with each other during the auction. Similar to Sprint and T-Mobile not being able to talk about merging right now (even though Sprint isn't in the auction). Dish, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all in the incentive auction and hoping to win big, when it comes to 600MHz spectrum. As this is the last of the low-band spectrum for at least a decade. Low-band spectrum is important to carriers as it allows them to cover more area than mid-band or high-band spectrum. Which is important these days.

Dish has until 2020 to build out their network with their spectrum, or license it out to another carrier. However, Dish's financials may force them to get a deal going sooner rather than later. And as the US wireless industry continues to get more and more competitive, it's possible that Dish will decide to just license their spectrum to Verizon or another carrier and then activate their MVNO deal with them later on down the road. Especially with Charter and Comcast getting in on the fun later this year. Keep in mind that this is all coming from analysts, and while they are usually right or at least in the right ballpark, it doesn't mean that Verizon will definitely get Dish's spectrum.

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