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Is Dish Bluffing About Building an LTE Network?
Ergen May Just Be Bloating Spectrum Value Before Sale
by Karl Bode 08:49AM Thursday Mar 08 2012
About a month ago I (and several users) started wondering if Dish was really serious about building an LTE network, or if they were simply playing a game of pattycake with AT&T to drive up the cost of their spectrum ahead of a sale. Run from a subsidiary, Dish claims they plan to build a LTE-Advanced network under the brand "Ollo," though such a network likely wouldn't launch until at least 2015. Investors apparently aren't buying it, and think Dish is indeed just trying to drive up the value of their stock so AT&T overpays for it:
"It serves him right to say he’s willing to build a network even if he’s not," said Paul Sweeney, a media and Internet analyst with Bloomberg Industries. "It’s a negotiating tactic. He's saying he's willing and able to build the network to provide maximum value for the spectrum."
If analysts actually believed Dish had any intention of building a network, they argue the stock would have plummeted by now as investors ran for their lives from the up front investment necessary to get such a project off the ground. Of course Dish may just be moving slowly. They've yet to get a necessary waiver from the FCC, and the LTE Advanced equipment the company hopes to use for its S-band spectrum likely won't even be available until 2015.