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Dish's LTE Dreams Inch Toward Reality

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

The latest on Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s spectrum grab kicks off Thursday's cable news roundup.

  • Dish said a U.S. bankruptcy court has approved its reorganization plan for TerreStar Networks. The court cleared TerreStar and DBSD North America Inc. to sell their respective spectrum licenses to Dish in mid-2011. Dish has outlined plans to deploy a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network with that spectrum, though some have speculated that the company will likely try to sell its spectrum or strike a partnership with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) or a smaller carrier such as T-Mobile US Inc. . Dish says it's ready to begin to design and construct its high-speed wireless network once it gains Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of the license transfers and obtains waivers that would relieve a requirement that its spectrum be used on phones that support both land and satellite connections. (See Dish: This Year's LightSquared?, Will AT&T Gun for Dish? and Dish CEO Puts T-Mobile on His Wish List.)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV)'s U.S. subscriber additions in the fourth quarter, at 125,000, were expectedly light, but the satellite TV giant made some serious hay in Latin America, where it added a better than expected 590,000 subs. DirecTV posted net income of US$718 million, up 16 percent year-over-year, on revenues of $7.46 billion, up almost 13 percent.

  • Trimming back video subscriber losses to just 16,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011 served as a shot in the arm for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s stock Wednesday as shares increased 4.7 percent to $28.52, the largest intraday boost since September 2010, according to Bloomberg. (See Comcast Narrows Gap on Video Sub Losses .)

  • DSL Reports says that there are still some holes in Comcast's Docsis 3.0 upgrades, with users noting the absence of them in markets such as Ocala, Fla.; Danbury, Conn.; and Santa Cruz, Calif. (See Comcast 'Completes' Docsis 3.0 Rollout.)

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is getting closer to offering TV streaming on Android devices, extending a capability already offered on iOS devices, PCs and Macs. Company official Jeff Simmermom Tweeted Wednesday that the MSO is "working on bringing streaming TV to Android devices with ICS [Ice Cream Sandwich]. Should be ready by end of March/Q1. That date is VERY loose, though." (See TW Cable Streams Live TV to PCs.)

  • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will talk regulatory turkey with American Cable Association (ACA) President and CEO Matthew Polka and independent cable operators on Wednesday, March 14 at the ACA Summit in Washington, D.C.

  • Competitive cable overbuilder Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) ended the fourth quarter with 256,653 subs, a small 0.5 percent gain versus the year-ago quarter. Knology posted net income of $11.6 million, versus a net loss of $13.0 million, on revenues of $129.3 million, up 4.6 percent.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:42:28 PM
    re: Dish's LTE Dreams Inch Toward Reality

    It's been reported that Dish is interested in sharing spectrum with AT&T. Seems like the sort of thing regulators would like because it keeps another player in the market. But it also seems like it would be difficult to actually implement unless the two companies create some sort of joint venture.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:42:24 PM
    re: Dish's LTE Dreams Inch Toward Reality

    And T-mob , too.  Looks like Dish is very willing to talk turkey with lots of potential partners; there's just no way that they'll give this a go alone, despite all the posturing (by them) that they can/will. JB

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