Dish Network Charlie Ergen now says that his company will likely have to partner with another company
in order to get their LTE network built. Back in March the FCC delayed a waiver decision
that would allow Dish to ignore some of the satellite phone requirements placed on the spectrum they plan to use. Dish had been rather amicable about the delay, but this week Ergen started getting a little chirpy about the delay, insisting that Dish was being left behind
"The market continues to move ahead without us," Ergen said in an interview from Dish's headquarters in Douglas County. "We felt that we'd have an advantage entering with the new LTE technology. That advantage is becoming less by the day because our competitors are starting to deploy the new technology now and may be even more deployed than we can be since they have a head start."
"The net effect of the delay is that it has become (less likely) that we would be able to build a network from scratch ourselves," Ergen said. "I think we had all our options open if we had gotten it done by the first of the year. ... We're still cautiously optimistic that we can enter the business and create a great product for consumers."
The problem with Ergen's pouting is that Dish has been responsible for much of that day by repeatedly waffling on their LTE deployment promises. The company originally told the FCC they might be able to have such a network up and running by 2016. Before that, Dish claimed that the LTE Advanced equipment for its S-band spectrum they plan to use likely won't even be available until 2015. That's why the FCC is taking their time, so it's disingenuous for Dish to start blaming the FCC for delays. Ergen's comment simply will add fuel to the belief that Dish is just bluffing about a LTE build
just to jack up the value of the spectrum they've been collecting.