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Tag Archives: DISH Network

Dish Network Edges Toward Multi-billion Dollar M&A Move

March 28, 2017 — 

By Ernest Worthman

Executive Editor, AGL eDigest

I have talked regularly about the marriage between the wireless carriers and the media companies and how the next iteration of content providers will no longer be wireless or media stand-alone entities. They have been called various new names, most of which I simply glance over, but the numbers that support this evolution can be staggering. Most of us are all aware of the flurry of mergers and acquisitions over the past couple of years. Well, add another one to that wheelhouse – Dish Network is looking at raising another billion dollars towards its wireless ventures.

The details are a bit sketchy, but it plans to issue convertible notes, the details of which won’t be inked until a few more details are worked out.

And Dish isn’t talking about who or what quite yet. It seems just to be positioning to pounce when the time is right.

The billion-dollar figure tells one just how much this new market is worth. That, on top of the $3-billion round that closed at the end of last year. That is the most notable issue in all of this. but Dish already has over $5 billion on the balance sheets. Makes one wonder just what else they are stashing money away for.

True, they need to meet a couple of mandates, like the obligation to meet FCC buildout requirements for the spectrum it already owns and the $1.5-billion on upfront auction payments. Those buildout rules stipulate that the satellite-TV provider must attain a 40 percent signal coverage on the 700 MHz E-Block licenses it owns by the end of the month and reach a 70 percent buildout by March 2020. And Dish faces similar mandates for its licenses in the AWS-4 band. But with all the money they have in the coffer, and perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I have this gut feeling that something big is about to go down with Dish.

3GPP Integrates DISH Spectrum with AWS-3

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) global wireless standards body has approved specifications that will enable the development of devices and infrastructure in Band 70, which combines DISH’s current AWS-4 spectrum as downlink (2000-2020 MHz), DISH’s H block downlink spectrum (1995-2000 MHz), and unpaired AWS-3 uplink spectrum (1695-1710 MHz).

“Band 70 packages what would otherwise be underutilized spectrum, paving the way for an ecosystem to better serve consumer demands for downlink,” said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development.

DISH and the entities in which it has invested have on average almost 80 MHz of spectrum nationwide, covering over 23 billion MHz-POPs.

Dish Gets a Plate Full of New Spectrum

There still is no end in sight to the voracious appetite of wireless operators for additional spectrum. The acquisition of spectrum by mobile operators, who gets what, what they are willing to pay, where they are acquiring, is a rather intimate look into some of the expansion strategies and markets the players are interested in. And there are some strange players emerging.

Worthman

Worthman

Dish Network is walking away as the grand winner of the H-block auction, which started Jan. 22 and came to an end a few days ago. The government will add $1.564 billion to its coffers with its auction of 176 economic area spectrum licenses in the upper 1.9 GHz band.

To me, that is a bit of an eye-opener. While is still unclear exactly what they will do with that spectrum, they are, obviously, gearing up for some sort of wireless play.

Speculation is that Dish may be looking to get into the wireless carrier business directly to corner a share of that that lucrative voice and Internet pie. Or perhaps lease it to other companies such as Google. Dish, which already provides TV Everywhere, wants to be able to provide wireless on the go. TV Everywhere service allows customers to use their wireless devices anywhere they travel to watch Dish Network programming. Whichever emerges as their wireless business model, certainly they will be a player in this market.

— Ernest Worthman, editor, AGL Small Cell Magazine

DISH, Ntelos Test LTE-to-the-Home

It’s easy to find people that don’t trust DISH Network’s Charlie Ergen, but it’s hard not to get titillated by some of the technology plays that he brings to Sprint and Clearwire. To Sprint, he brings a multimedia package – mobile and fixed video, voice, and data. Additionally, his company brings a fixed-broadband wireless play using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, which would complement the spectrum holdings of both Sprint and Clearwire.

The week, DISH and nTelos Wireless, a rural wireless provider, announced the commencement of a fixed broadband wireless test in rural Virginia using LTE technology, with speeds ranging from 20 Mbps to more than 50 Mbps.

As part of the demonstration, two wireless tower test sites were activated in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. BandRich ruggedized outdoor routers with built-in high-gain antennas were installed on the roofs of the homes to receive the signal. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent provided equipment and assisted in the installation.

The final story has yet to be written of the DISH/Sprint/Clearwire/Softbank merger-palooza. But with a significant portion of households in rural America underserved by wireline broadband, a fixed wireless LTE solution just might find a home in the country, no matter who provides it.

DISH Press Release

DISH, Ntelos Test LTE-to-the-Home

It’s easy to find people that don’t trust DISH Network’s Charlie Ergen, but it’s hard not to get titillated by some of the technology plays that he brings to Sprint and Clearwire. To Sprint, he brings a multimedia package – mobile and fixed video, voice, and data. Additionally, his company brings a fixed-broadband wireless play using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, which would complement the spectrum holdings of both Sprint and Clearwire.

The week, DISH and nTelos Wireless, a rural wireless provider, announced the commencement of a fixed broadband wireless test in rural Virginia using LTE technology, with speeds ranging from 20 Mbps to more than 50 Mbps.

As part of the demonstration, two wireless tower test sites were activated in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. BandRich ruggedized outdoor routers with built-in high-gain antennas were installed on the roofs of the homes to receive the signal. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent provided equipment and assisted in the installation.

The final story has yet to be written of the DISH/Sprint/Clearwire/Softbank merger-palooza. But with a significant portion of households in rural America underserved by wireline broadband, a fixed wireless LTE solution just might find a home in the country, no matter who provides it.

DISH Press Release