Dish Network, the budget satellite television company, sits on 40 MHz worth of spectrum in the 2 GHz band. They’ve already stated that they want to build an LTE-Advanced network using that spectrum, and now they’re just waiting to get the thumbs up from the FCC to go ahead and start building. Now we all know that AT&T failed to acquire T-Mobile. That made a lot of consumers happy since fewer operators almost always translates to higher prices. Still, that doesn’t change AT&T’s problem, which is their hunger for spectrum that they claim they need to expand their network. Most of us in the wireless industry believe that either AT&T will buy Dish Network to feed said hunger or Dish Network will buy T-Mobile and give the struggling operator a real 4G strategy.
Last week (January 26th) AT&T sent the FCC a seven page letter basically saying that Dish Network should be given permission to build their network, that they should have to follow the same rules that all wireless operators follow, and that no restrictions should be placed on the “transfer and/or leasing” of Dish’s spectrum. To us that sounds like AT&T wants to cut Dish Network a big fat check and just take their spectrum, why else would they tell the FCC to give Dish Network the green light to start building their network?
In a perfect world the FCC would tell AT&T to stop being a whiney douche, give Dish Network the go ahead, and Deutsche Telekom would give Dish Network the right to use their brand so that they don’t have to invest millions in marketing. That of course is a fantasy, but regardless, expect something major to happen to Dish Network during the next 12 months. They stand to make a lot of money when their spectrum gets the FCC’s stamp of approval.