Ergen's Latest Gambit: $2B for LightSquared?

Dish CEO's latest wireless gamble is reportedly a $2 billion bid for LightSquared spectrum he might not ever get to use

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

May 21, 2013

1 Min Read
Ergen's Latest Gambit: $2B for LightSquared?

The latest strange and audacious wireless gambit by DISH Networks LLC CEO Charlie Ergen is rumored to involve a US$2 billion bid for spectrum from bankrupt would-be 4G operator LightSquared. Bloomberg quotes sources as saying that Ergen has offered $2 billion for LightSquared spectrum. The move is described as a "stalking horse" bid that would leave the way open for others to bid on the bandwidth. The question is: Why would any other operator make a bid? LightSquared has slowly fizzled out since the FCC blocked it from using L-Band spectrum in February 2012 because it found that its proposed hybrid terrestrial and satellite LTE network would interfere with GPS services. (See LightSquared: The Company That Won't Die.) Dish is no stranger to plans for hybrid services. It has considered combo handsets for a service on the Mobile-Satellite Services (MSS) band in the U.S. (See Dish Chairman Ready to Back Up Wireless Bet.) Dish also reportedly picked up $350 million of LightSquared's debt in May 2012. If the rumors prove to be true here, however, it's not yet clear what the eventual game-plan for Dish would be. (See Dish Snaps Up Some LightSquared Debt.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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