With the FCC’s 700Mhz spectrum auction done and over with, we’re all left waiting to see what the winning companies will do with their new spectrum holdings. It’s not hard to imagine what AT&T and Verizon Wireless will be doing with their frequency acquisition – as soon as the spectrum is vacated by TV broadcasts in 2009, that is. Advanced wireless data, mobile video services, expanded coverage, it’s a no-brainer for the wireless giants.
But, the question is, what will Frontier Wireless and EchoStar do with their E-Block spectrum? EchoStar is the parent company of DISH Network (the satellite TV provider), and their entry into the wireless industry could point towards a new mobile TV service. I speculated that Frontier Wireless would be launching their own mobile video network, and it seems that industry analysts out there are thinking along the same lines.
Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Clement says that, “The assumption you’d make is that they’d set up some sort of mobile TV service.” And, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet noted that Dish Network stated in February that they may just “expand into mobile and portable video, data and voice services.”
It makes sense for Dish Network to break into the mobile space, that is, as long as the mobile TV service is offered on the cheap-cheap, or free. On the other hand, Frontier and EchoStar could just have snapped up the E-Block as an investment that is likely to appreciate in value with time. We’ll see what happens. It’d be nice to see Dish come out and offer MediaFLO some competition.