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Report: Verizon Eyeing Dish Network’s Spectrum

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 11:22am
Ben Munson

Verizon Wireless is interested in buying Dish Network’s spectrum, according to the New York Post.

The companies have reportedly held informal talks about a possible deal for Dish’s spectrum holdings.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam in May squashed rumors that Verizon might try to buy Dish in the wake of AT&T’s $49 billion bid for DirecTV. McAdam did admit that Dish has some interesting assets but that Verizon was not interested in owning a satellite-TV company.

Verizon has begun deploying LTE over its AWS spectrum, branded as XLTE, in order to address capacity and congestion issues. The carrier was the first to substantially complete its nationwide LTE network.

Dish earlier this year paid more than $1.5 billion for 10 MHz in the FCC’s H Block 1900 MHz auction. Those airwaves slot into Dish’s portfolio next to its current AWS-4 and lower 700 MHz holdings.

Both Dish and Verizon have expressed interest in the AWS-3 spectrum auction the FCC is planning for later this year. But Dish is on a deadline to deploy wireless broadband services on its current spectrum and is still without a network or partner to do so.

With reports indicating Sprint could bid to acquire T-Mobile soon, rumors suggested that a Dish partnership with the potent combined company could prop up the satellite-TV provider as a new nationwide wireless provider and ease regulators’ concern over consolidation. The FCC has repeatedly expressed skepticism over the merger winnowing down the competitive landscape from four to three carriers.

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