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Thread: Dish/Charter/Altice - The 4th National Carrier?

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    Dish/Charter/Altice - The 4th National Carrier?

    https://www.fiercewireless.com/regul...obile-decision

    Dish Network is in talks to buy prepaid subscribers and wireless spectrum from Sprint and T-Mobile. (Cody Logan/Wikimedia Commons)

    Dish Network is spectrum shopping again, and this time it may play a role in the approval of the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.

    The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that Dish is the lead bidder on the spectrum Sprint and T-Mobile are divesting in hopes of winning regulatory approval for their $26.5 billion merger. The news is particularly interesting as Dish is a member of the 4Competition Coalition, an organization of wireless groups and other companies that have led the charge against the merger.

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) is concerned that the merger would harm consumers by reducing competition in the wireless market. If approved, the merger would reduce the number of nationwide wireless carriers from four to three. A group of 10 state attorneys general recently stepped up efforts to block the deal, echoing competition concerns.

    Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to sell off Sprint’s prepaid brand Boost Mobile, and both companies have pledged to divest some spectrum assets, in an attempt to preserve competition in the market. The WSJ reports the DoJ would prefer to keep the prepaid subscribers and spectrum assets together. The agency has also considered requiring the emergence of a fourth carrier as part of its approval.

    Citing unnamed sources, WSJ said Dish Network is in talks to buy prepaid subscribers and wireless spectrum from the two companies, but cable operators Altice and Charter Communications are also interested.

    Dish Network has accrued billions worth of spectrum assets over the years, and has yet to put much of it to use. According to New Street Research, Dish is at risk of losing licenses for as much as $35 billion in spectrum, although the operator is in the midst of building a limited 5G network.

    A deal with Dish could present a win-win scenario for all parties involved. Dish may be best poised to offer a nationwide wireless challenge as a fourth carrier, satisfying the DoJ’s competition concerns; and the deal could also enable Dish to finally put its spectrum to use and launch a nationwide carrier business.

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    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-sprint-assets

    Dish, Charter and Altice Eye T-Mobile and Sprint Assets
    By Nabila Ahmed , Scott Moritz , and David McLaughlin

    Dish Network Corp., Charter Communications Inc. and Altice USA Inc. are among bidders for assets T-Mobile US Inc. plans to sell to win regulatory approval for its $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

    The companies are on a shortlist of bidders favored by the Justice Department, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The antitrust division would be comfortable with cable companies buying the assets because they are better positioned to become viable competitors with their own networks, one of the people said.

    Others could be in the mix, they said.

    T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to sell prepaid wireless brand Boost to appease the Federal Communications Commission, which also has to approve the deal. To win over the Justice Department, the companies are also discussing offloading another prepaid brand and enough spectrum to help set up a viable fourth competitor if the deal goes through.

    They are working with a shortlist of potential buyers acceptable to the Justice Department with the aim of having the antitrust enforcer sign off on the winner as part of their approval efforts, the people said.

    Representatives for Dish, Charter, Altice USA, T-Mobile, Sprint and the Justice Department declined to comment.

    Sprint shares rose as much as 3.5% on the news and were trading at $6.77 at 1:47 p.m. in New York.

    T-Mobile agreed to buy Sprint in April 2018, wagering that together the carriers can build a next-generation wireless network to better compete with industry leaders Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.

    Nine states and the District of Columbia sued to block the deal on antitrust grounds this week, putting pressure on the Justice Department as it nears a decision on the merger.

    There is a 75% chance the Justice Department approves the transaction even after the lawsuit from the states, according to Chase White, an analyst with Height Capital Markets who covers the tech, media and telecommunications industries.

    The lawsuit is a sign that Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim is leaning toward approval, White said in a note to clients Wednesday.

    It’s not clear whether the states would settle their case even if the companies reach an agreement with the Justice Department.

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    Yeah I'd unironically trust the cable cos deploying a network moreso than Dish, Ergen's a rent-seeking moron.

    Hell, Comcast actually used to be a 1.9 GHz PCS provider in a handful of Pennsylvania counties in the mid to late 1990s, no one seems to remember that

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    If letting Dish have all this stuff let's the deal go through fine even though I know they will not roll out a 4th carrier and just continue to horde spectrum

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    This is insane. The CAPEX to build a 4th network is just nuts, and it would take years and years. If they wanted to be in the business, they would have bought Sprint outright.

    Quote Originally Posted by kc9pke View Post
    Hell, Comcast actually used to be a 1.9 GHz PCS provider in a handful of Pennsylvania counties in the mid to late 1990s, no one seems to remember that
    From what I saw, they were an 850mhz CLR carrier.

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    maybe Altice out of those 3 but last I read Altice was hurting for $$. Cutting costs/firing people/forced retirements etc. Although recently they also supposedly deployed 20,000 small cells or something, due to their impending mvno rollout via sprint. So based on that alone, they'd probably be the best 'fit'... but its a stretch. I think they're more worried about their existing agreement with sprint, and what happens to it if tmobile was allowed to merge. I don't think Charter is interested b/c their verizon mvno setup. I doubt dish would do anything but run boost into the ground and squat on more spectrum. So... I think there might be some other company/s not speculated just yet that might emerge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
    I don't think Charter is interested b/c their verizon mvno setup. I doubt dish would do anything but run boost into the ground and squat on more spectrum. So... I think there might be some other company/s not speculated just yet that might emerge.
    Charter's deal isn't that great. Assuming they pay the same rates as Comcast I know it's been said that Comcast pays Verizon $5 per GB. Having their own spectrum or a more favorable deal for spectrum lease from T-Mobile/Sprint would probably be welcomed. Though I doubt they are seriously interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    ....... The CAPEX to build a 4th network is just nuts, and it would take years and years. ......
    LTE permits ways of partnering on infrastructure that can cut capital expenses. The companies just have to think outside the box.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Lightreading seems to believe any deal would involve Tmobile giving up some of the new band 41 spectrum which would be crazy because that mid band spectrum is the biggest prize in any merger.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/.../d/d-id/752251

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Lightreading seems to believe any deal would involve Tmobile giving up some of the new band 41 spectrum which would be crazy because that mid band spectrum is the biggest prize in any merger.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/.../d/d-id/752251
    I still believe tmobile will not give up any spectrum. All prepaid on sprint side will be sold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Lightreading seems to believe any deal would involve Tmobile giving up some of the new band 41 spectrum which would be crazy because that mid band spectrum is the biggest prize in any merger.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/.../d/d-id/752251
    I'd dump Sprint's 800 mhz in full to them since it's nationwide. There's your brand with a retail network, and a nationwide cellular network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    LTE permits ways of partnering on infrastructure that can cut capital expenses. The companies just have to think outside the box.
    You think Verizon, at&t or T-Mobile is going to partner with Dish so they can come in an steal customers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    LTE permits ways of partnering on infrastructure that can cut capital expenses. The companies just have to think outside the box.
    I agree there are ways to think outside the box in some aspects of this, but building out a true national network requires old fashioned grunt work in many areas. Also, to cover the required areas for the spectrum they hold seems almost undo-able at this point.

    Say they sell/divest the SMR band to make it easier for a scenario - does Dish/Cable company get to take the tower ownership and panels and back haul with it or the lease if applicable? Or would Sprint simply stop broadcasting in the spectrum and call it a day leaving Dish to use it as virgin spectrum? Since they are buying prepaid customers, would they do full MVNO status and use the entire network?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    LTE permits ways of partnering on infrastructure that can cut capital expenses. The companies just have to think outside the box.
    Huh? You have to have steel in the air sites to get coverage, and that takes a long time and costs a fortune.

    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Lightreading seems to believe any deal would involve Tmobile giving up some of the new band 41 spectrum which would be crazy because that mid band spectrum is the biggest prize in any merger.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/.../d/d-id/752251
    I can't see them giving up much, if any of B41. B41 is the real price, as that's prime 5G spectrum, and they need as much of it as they can get to serve an urban-centric user base, as well as offer rural home internet or whatever the plan is. They could lose the PCS G block, which is an annoying oddball piece of spectrum, they could lose the SMR band, it's sort of useless anyway, they probably wouldn't want to lose much of the regular PCS spectrum, since that's immediately usable for B2 LTE.

    The question though, is who would want that spectrum? There is no practical way to build a network from the ground up at this point. The spectrum is only useful to an established carrier unless it were broken up for rural wireless internet or something, but that wouldn't generate much profit, and wouldn't help competition in urban areas.

    The Amazon-Boost plan is batshit crazy, but anything involving DISH is even more batshit crazy.

    What makes no sense to me is why DISH is even engaging in this lunacy. DISH should be pushing against the merger HARD, as DISH's best two options are basically gone if the merger goes through with DISH involved, or even at all. DISH's best option is to outright sell the spectrum, as Sprint, Verizon, and to a lesser extent, T-Mobile need it, or to be slurped up by Verizon. It would be mostly a spectrum play, as Verizon doesn't have the bundling synergies that AT&T has with DirecTV, and DISH is a mostly rural brand. However, Verizon could do rural fixed wireless with the newfound spectrum on towers and backhaul they already own, bundle that with DISH TV, and then use it for mobile in suburban and urban areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuffaloTF View Post
    I'd dump Sprint's 800 mhz in full to them since it's nationwide. There's your brand with a retail network, and a nationwide cellular network.
    You can't do much with 14mhz of spectrum. It's barely useful now in combination with other bands. That SMR band is only marginally useful to anyone else except Sprint, since it's all the low band that they've got.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    I agree there are ways to think outside the box in some aspects of this, but building out a true national network requires old fashioned grunt work in many areas. Also, to cover the required areas for the spectrum they hold seems almost undo-able at this point.
    Exactly. It takes AT&T and Verizon several years to put a new site up. They've been doing this for decades. DISH isn't just going to make it happen overnight. The whole idea is nuts.

    Say they sell/divest the SMR band to make it easier for a scenario - does Dish/Cable company get to take the tower ownership and panels and back haul with it or the lease if applicable? Or would Sprint simply stop broadcasting in the spectrum and call it a day leaving Dish to use it as virgin spectrum? Since they are buying prepaid customers, would they do full MVNO status and use the entire network?
    I think T-Mobile wants some of the sites so that they can densify their network in the process of merging them. It's a multiplicative effect of merging sites and spectrum. This whole thing makes no sense.

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