& cplSiteName &

Son: Dish Could Be Sprint's Great Ally

Sarah Thomas
3/27/2014
50%
50%

SAN ANTONIO -- CCA Global Expo -- Dish Network, the thorn in SoftBank's side when it was trying to acquire Sprint, could now be the carrier's biggest ally, according to Sprint's new chairman. (See Dish Throws in the Towel on Sprint Buy.)

Addressing reporters after his keynote address to the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) crowd here on Thursday morning, SoftBank Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said that Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) could be Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s biggest ally in the carrier's fight against the duopoly of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless .

"I'd like to partner with Dish in many possible ways," he told reporters. "We are specifically discussing all kinds of alliances and starting a test of technology. They can be our great ally."

Sprint and Dish are already working together on a fixed wireless broadband trial in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Son says it's achieving speeds of up to 200 Mbit/s. He said the pair are doing some testing, but they're also looking at a technology alliance that combines Dish's satellite business with Sprint's LTE network. (See Dish Taps Sprint for 4G Trial in Texas.)

Partnerships like this, and the one it has forged with the CCA's 100 rural carriers, are necessary to stand up to the big two. That was the message of Son's keynote address, but his time chatting with reporters after was spent defending why a merger with a "not specifically named carrier" (aka T-Mobile US Inc. ) was necessary to turn a "pseudo fight" into a "real fight." (See Sprint Joins Forces With Rural America on LTE and Report: SoftBank Preps $19B Bid for T-Mobile.)

"We need even deeper scale to fight back," Son said. "Otherwise, if you are cornered and fighting along by yourself, it's not enough power to fight back. In order to fight back, we cannot be status quo. We have to change the situation, so it's not really four players becoming three. It's two players dominating the market, and we have to fight back."

Son Meet & Greet
Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son addresses reporters about fighting the good fight against AT&T and Verizon after his keynote address at the CCA Expo.
Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son addresses reporters about fighting the good fight against AT&T and Verizon after his keynote address at the CCA Expo.

He pointed to a GSM Association (GSMA) statistic that AT&T and Verizon had a combined 56% share of the US postpaid mobile market five years ago, a number that has since grown to 73% and will continue to grow if unchecked.

When asked if he's making progress in Washington DC in convincing regulators the merger is good for competition, he quipped, "you have a better understanding," but noted that his goal is to continue to increase understanding. It may seem like basic math: four carriers minus one equals three, but Son said it's not a simple number four. It's an uneven fight; heavyweights versus weaklings. Even coupling Sprint with 100 carriers, as its new Data Roaming Hub does, isn't enough, Son claimed.

"In order to have a sustainable long-term fight, we need scale and efficiency," he said. "Sprint will survive. Survival is not the issue. Can anyone other than those big two have a real fighting situation? Without size it's not a real fight."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/31/2014 | 10:16:36 PM
Dish
All his talk about Dish sounds pretty vague. I get the ongoing technology trial is something, but I think he is trying to act like the potential distruptor everyone believes him to be.
Bill Van
50%
50%
Bill Van,
User Rank: Moderator
3/28/2014 | 12:20:01 AM
Re: T-Who?
Can Softbank's superstar do what he has done in Japan and in Asia be duplicated in the U.S?   Keep watching Son as he is on track to be a major disruptor in the US big time. i.e Mark Cuban...John Malone 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/27/2014 | 5:56:06 PM
Former enemies
As the Klingon proverb notes: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 5:35:50 PM
Re: T-Who?
I just think if Sprint buys T-Mobile they'll go out of their way to be more like AT&T and Verizon, not less. Your behavior is dictated by competitive pressure, and there's just no debating that killing off one of the four big carriers would generate less.

So many promises surrounding consolidation that never, ever materialize. Sprint hasn't even been able to show they can run a competent next-gen network yet. Maybe focus on that before looking at further M&A opportunities?

That said, I'm not sure T-Mobile would fare much better under Ergen control.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 5:26:14 PM
Re: T-Who?
Yeah, and Son brought that up several times, but just kept saying it's not enough. It's not "real competition." He also promised to show us what a real price war looks like if the acqusition happens. I highly doubt that, but there's definitel room to go lower.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 5:24:26 PM
Re: T-Who?
Still seems so very unlikely that regulators are going to let Sprint acquire T-Mobile at a time when T-Mo's being so damn disruptive on consumer policies. It's far more likely a Dish acquisition of T-Mobile gets the regulatory nod...will Son, Sprint and SoftBank be BFFs with Ergen if or when that happens?
billho888
50%
50%
billho888,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 3:57:07 PM
Re: T-Mo Announcement
I think it's a matter of timing. If the 700 A Blocks were in hand during this conference, they would have joined the announcement. If the deal wasn't done & they only have the MetroPCS 'Boston' market, it's not as impactful. But it's logical - wholesale roaming growth opportunity for T-Mobile.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 3:06:36 PM
Re: T-Who?
Good point, Bill. It definitely seemed like when, not if, about T-Mobile joining. I am surprised it hasn't already, but I know they wanted to make this announcement at the show either way.
billho888
50%
50%
billho888,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 2:39:18 PM
Re: T-Who?
If and when T-Mobile joins the CCA Data Acess Hub (after getting VZW's 21 licenses for 700 Block A in hand), there will be more commonalities and formal avenues of collaboration. Beyond VZW's A Blocks, TMo still needs to round out top 30 markets from ATT (Chicago), Columbia Capital & others. 
Sarah Thomas
100%
0%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 1:25:54 PM
T-Who?
Son was a really good speaker. I've never heard a CEO comment so much on something he "can't comment" on. Rather than stay mum, he just kept referring to T-Mobile, but saying "not speaking specifically" or "not naming specific companies." So, guys, who do you think he wants Sprint to merge with? Could be anyone!
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Twilight Star Authors AI Paper

1|24|17   |   00:46   |   (0) comments


Actress Kristen Stewart, best known for starring in the Twilight movies, has co-authored an academic paper on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in a short film she has directed.
LRTV Documentaries
Apple, Qualcomm Lock Horns Over Licensing

1|24|17   |   01:07   |   (0) comments


Industry giants clash over licensing fees.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
You've Heard of Slow Food? Click Here
This is slow tech.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.