Will Verizon Buy Dish Network Spectrum?

By

Investment bankers love transactions: it’s one of the ways they make their money. So it is no surprise that “rumors” about potential deals “leak” to the press. Sometimes those are intentional leaks, rumors intended to test appetite and suggest possible deals.

Dish Network and Verizon Wireless have held informal talks about a Verizon purchase of the Dish Network mobile spectrum, leaks attributed to investment bankers.

Ironically, such a deal, were it to happen, would confirm a view long voiced that the spectrum play was always about spectrum squatting, more than anything else.

One of the older rumors is that Dish Network has been acquiring mobile spectrum for the purpose of selling it.

For years, some have speculated that Dish Network has had no intention of building and operating a mobile network, but simply would eventually sell to one of the other U.S. mobile firms.

Those rumors have been quite muted over the last year, as Dish Network faces strategic issues if it remains a satellite-based video entertainment provider, and arguably must build its mobile network, or lose the frequencies and billions of equity value.

Of course, there also are reasons for such rumors of a spectrum sale to surface now.

The Federal Communications Commission 700-MHz spectrum auction has been structured to limit the amount of spectrum Verizon and AT&T could win.

AT&T, for example, already has threatened to sit out the planned auctions. And Verizon could avoid the auctions as well, if it acquires Dish Network spectrum instead.

If neither AT&T nor Verizon Wireless bids, it is possible the auctions might fail, as the structure of the incentive process first requires that broadcasters agree to sell their spectrum, and that means they must be offered prices sufficient to motivate such a sale.

Most observers would say that the presence of AT&T and Verizon in any auction produces higher prices.

An effective show of disinterest by AT&T and Verizon would likely mean an unsuccessful auction, with broadcasters choosing to keep their spectrum instead of selling. That might later lead to a new auction with less-restrictive rules.

Dish Network gains by reminding potential buyers of the value of its holdings. 

Verizon also might, by making such a purchase, keep Dish Network out of the U.S. mobile market. And that would be the biggest strategic impact of such a spectrum purchase.

Telecom is not a business devoid of intrigue. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More