As anyone who follows the broadcasting space knows, DISH Network owns a massive amount of 5G spectrum. For those who don’t know, broadcast spectrum is the range of frequencies of electromagnetic waves that broadcasting companies are allowed to utilize. DISH Network, is the proud owner of a massive amount of 5G spectrum. However, since there is a limited amount of spectrum available, it’s regulated by the FCC.
The FCC has given DISH a deadline to use their spectrum holdings, or they will forfeit them. As that deadline approaches, many are looking to see what DISH is going to do. Most expected DISH to sell those holdings, but now many are speculating that DISH is going to use those holdings to create their own 5G network.
FierceWireless reports that Deutsche Bank Research analysts believe that DISH CEO Charlie Ergen now considers building a $10 billion 5G network as Plan A. Plan B would, of course, still mean selling off all of their spectrum holdings. DISH currently owns an estimated $30 billion worth of spectrum.
Of course, the biggest hurdle to achieving Plan A for DISH is actually being able to raise that kind of cash. While it’s nice to talk about creating a $10 billion 5G network, it’s another thing to actually raise $10 billion. This is particularly true when you consider the fact that DISH only made $14.391B in revenue last year. $10 billion is a significant portion of that, and you can’t imagine that the company has a large amount of cash reserves.
It’s also possible that all of this is just rumour designed to keep DISH in the news cycle and make that a more valuable acquisition target. With that much Spectrum, DISH would be a valuable acquisition for any wireless carrier out there.
Unfortunately, we may not know the answer for some time. Remember, DISH Network has until 2020 to do something with this spectrum. If their plan is to bide their time until a favorable acquisition offer comes their way, then we may only have more rumours to deal with until then. Only time will tell.