Dish: We'll Build an LTE Network in 2016. Maybe.
Analysts Starting to Think Dish is Simply Full of Crap
Last Summer Dish Network started insisting that the company was very seriously interested in launching an LTE network
, despite previous executive assurances that the company was accumulating spectrum just for fun. Run from a subsidiary, the company is hoping to launch an LTE-Advanced network under the brand "Ollo
." Dish is planning to use the spectrum they acquired from DBSD North America and TerreStar Networks, a transaction that just received FCC approval.
But now that Dish has their spectrum they're waffling on a deployment date
, telling the FCC they might be able to have such a network up and running by 2016. The company previously claimed that the LTE Advanced equipment for its S-band spectrum they plan to use likely won't even be available until 2015. Dish is now claiming that they'll need four years after the 3GPP validates its S-band satellite spectrum for 4G use -- something expected to happen this December. The delays are only re-enforcing the idea that Dish is just bluffing and stalling so they can flip the spectrum for more money at a later date
This is another example of an operator making desperate claims about the need for spectrum, and then finding every excuse not to build networks when they finally get it. It’s a good indication that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen has no intention of ever building a network and just wants to flip the licenses for a quick and profitable sale. The more leeway there is on a building a network, the more attractive those licenses will be to a potential buyer.
With LightSquared dead and Clearwire continuing to struggle, Dish would be a welcome additional competitive option, but the growing consensus is that the company is simply blowing smoke. Most analysts (and consumer advocates
(pdf) are worried that Dish is simply making up intentions, just so they can sell the spectrum at an inflated rate to the nation's duopoly (AT&T, Verizon) at a later date.