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Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/21/2012
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A new rule circulating at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will reportedly allow Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) to use its spectrum for terrestrial-only services, but the satellite TV giant is fuming that the proposal could "cripple" its wireless ambitions. (See Spectrum Ruling Could Prove Risky for Dish .)

The FCC is considering new rules that would let Dish use 40MHz of AWS-4 wireless spectrum without having to support its satellite-based access requirements. Dish is upset that the draft order would require Dish to disable 25 percent of its uplink spectrum and impair another 25 percent to accommodate adjacent, and currently unused, H-Block spectrum that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is eyeing for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

"While the FCC would grant full terrestrial rights, its proposal to lower our power and emissions levels could cripple our ability to enter the business," Dish Executive VP and General Counsel R. Stanton Dodge said, in a statement.

Dish wants to use the spectrum to build out its own wireless network, a risky decision that would cost billions and, in Dish's assessment, also create "tens of thousands of jobs." Some analysts and observers see that as a bluff to help Dish boost the value of its holdings. While waiting for the FCC to act, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has outlined several other possible scenarios in which Dish would seek a wireless partner or sell off its holdings.

Dodge said the H-Block provision could "add years" to the process and cause Dish to mothball some important elements, including radio designs and the build of the network itself, until the interference issues can be sorted out.

The FCC has not publicly revealed any details of its purported proposal and was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday morning. A vote is not expected until after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Why this matters
A ruling that limits Dish's use of the spectrum will almost certainly spell the end for its already seemingly doomed idea of building its own wireless network.

That would open the spectrum up to an outright sale, though the value of those holdings might decrease in the wake of a ruling that impairs their use. The ruling might also cause Dish to get more aggressive about finding a partnership.

But the proposal is not set in stone, and the Dish lobby is out to tilt things in its favor before it's too late. "We stand ready to work with the full Commission on final rules that put the full AWS-4 spectrum to work for America and that advance the future potential of the H Block," Dodge added, with a bit of patriotic flair.

For more





— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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Jeff Baumgartner
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Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:20 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


At first i thought this proposed ruling would simply give Ergen his out card for a sale, which seemed to be the *real* plan all along, but the way Dish explains how this could impair its holdings, this could put a damper on the value of that spectrum perceived or otherwise and damage Dish's position at the negotiation table. JB

DISHTV4U
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DISHTV4U,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:18 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


U MAKE THE CASE MR. ERGAN ONLY WANTS TO SELL HIS SPECT. & NOW THAT THAT WOULD NOT RETURN THIS HUGE PROFIT U ENVISION . NO CHANGE OF OPINION OR SEEMING NO CHANGE IN YOUR VIEW OF HIS PLAN ? ? R U AN INDEPENDENT BLOG OR A VOICE 4 THE CABLE INTERESTS ? ?

DISHTV4U
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DISHTV4U,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:18 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


JEFF , IF U ONLY LOOK AT THE START OF DISH U WILL SEE THAT THOSE TWO WENT UP AGAINST GM , RCA & A HOST OF OTHERS TO CREATE DISH ! THIS WAS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION A MUCH LARGER GAMBLE THAN TO BUILD OUT THEIR OWN , OR MY PERSONAL HOPE , TO MERGE WITH ANOTHER TO GIVE SAT. A TRIPLE PLAY AS THE REAL COMPETITION , AT&T , VERIZON & COMCAST HAVE NOW , BUT WITH A COAST TO COAST REACH THAT NOBODY HAS ! THIS THREAT TO THE STATUS QUO SEEMS TO BE A LARGE PART OF THE DELAY BY THE POLITICO'S .

Jeff Baumgartner
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Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:18 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


TW Cable, Comcast and to a degree, Bright House, also spun a fairy tale about using their AWS spectrum holdings for a network buildout and it became obvious that the high costs of that idea took that idea  off the table pretty quick... and they ended up selling it at a handsome profit. They didn't break any FCC rules , but it turned out to be a profitible strategy.  And it turned  out Cox probably should've taken a similar approach from the get-go rather than trying to do it all on its own. I think Dish could learn from Cox's experieince and instead partner and/or sell rather than going it alone... it's  too expensive and risky to do that from scratch. And yes I do question the perceived value of their spectrum if the FCC rules hinder its effective  usage. JB

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:17:17 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


Dish,


This is a technical bulletin board dealing with all sorts of communications topics.  It would be wonderful if you would do three things:


1 - Stop it with the all caps


2 - Write in complete sentences


3 - Stop using the shorthand and try English instead.


If you go back and look at other posts here you will find yourself dismissed if you choose to post in 133t.


seven


 

Jeff Baumgartner
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Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:17 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


Yes, i recall Charlie Ergen saying pretty much that on the earnings calls when questions about his wireless strategy and Dish's spectrum holdings came up on the calls. I agree that he's made some bold bets that have paid off (and some that didn't), but I still don't know if going it alone is the right move here, especially if these FCC rules affect the spectrum Dish has to play with. But it certainly would be exciting to see him try it. JB

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:17:16 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


Dennis,


Is that a foot fetish reference?


:)


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at LR but Phil.  The heck with Phil.


seven


 

shygye75
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shygye75,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:17:16 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


A lot of what Charlie Ergen says and does is interesting, in a Rex Ryan kind of way.

DISHTV4U
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DISHTV4U,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:15 PM
re: Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled'


I APOLIGIZE TO ALL WHO WERE BOTHERED BY MY USE OF CAPS ! NOT UPSET OR HOLLOWING ! !  JUST USING THE BEST SIZE FOR ME TO SEE WELL ON MY HP TOUCHSCREEN 42 IN. MONITOR . YOU MAY CHOOSE TO IGNORE MY MUSINGS , MY WIFE OF OVER 50 YEARS HAS BEEN DOING JUST THAT FOR DECADES. AGAIN SORRY . . . . JACK

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