Dish Still Looking for LTE Partners
Laughs Off Idea That LTE Build is a Bluff
Dish continues to look for LTE network build partners as rumors continue to bubble over that Sprint thwarted an attempted acquisition of Clearwire. Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton this week once again stated the company is looking for a friend to help build their LTE network, but appeared to have ruled out Sprint as that partner
. "I could see a half-dozen different options that could play out," said Clayton, after months of rumors that Dish has been in talks with everyone about the build -- including Google
Dish's CEO shot down some analyst concerns that Dish is just putting on a song and dance just to jack up the value of their spectrum, before selling it to someone like AT&T:
Clayton seemed to scoff at the notion that Dish is just in the wireless game to sell its spectrum and turn a profit. "Don't tell [Dish Chairman] Charlie [Ergen] that," he said. "And I didn't come out of retirement to say grace over a declining paid-TV business and to just cut costs and make things as efficient as possible. I came for the ride, the growth and the excitement."
"We're going to change the way America communicates and entertains itself," Clayton added. "And it won't just be about wireless. It's about satellite broadband for rural America, too. We want to give the consumer whatever he wants, wherever he's at, and we'll use whatever technology's appropriate to do that. It's simplistic, but it's a big idea."
Dish's apparent removal of Sprint as a likely partner comes after Sprint struck a deal to acquire Clearwire and the company's treasure trove of spectrum. Some industry analysts believe Sprint had to engage in some speedy behind the scenes shenanigans to prevent Dish from acquiring Clearwire themselves
. Nobody knows what Dish is going to do next, though some believe that the company could make a risky attempt to take over the imploding LightSquared
. Others still think this all just ends with AT&T gobbling up Dish's spectrum.