DISH is actively running out of time to make good on their 5G promises as their March 2020 SEC deadline approaches. Chairman Charlie Ergen is keenly aware that his multi billion-dollar bet on spectrum holdings will either make or break the future of DISH Network.
According to Bloomberg, Ergen is so aware of this timeline that his personal phone always displays a running countdown to that SEC deadline. Not only that, but Ergen has made it so that every time a DISH employee logs into their work computer, they will immediately be greeted by this countdown.
To be fair, that deadline is not to have an entire 5G network up and running, but rather to have the first phase of the network in place. Unfortunately, even getting that to happen is still very much up in the air.
Ergen spoke with Bloomberg about this project. “I grew up in this little town called Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was famous for being part of the Manhattan Project,” said Ergen “It took them four years to design and build the atomic bomb. And that’s about how long it’s going to take us to design and build the greatest 5G network. And we are in the first year of building that today.”.
DISH investors are growing increasingly antsy with each passing day. When DISH first began accumulating spectrum many assumed it was to merge with a major wireless carrier to jointly create a 5G network. However, with the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, DISH picking up a carrier of their own is looking more and more unlikely.
Ergen also mentioned to Bloomberg that the stakes of this project are even higher because U.S. competition with China. According to Ergen, building a 5G network is essential if U.S. carriers want to compete with China. Building a 5G network is no easy task. Unfortunately for DISH, the future of the company depends on them delivering this project by March 2020.