DISH claims backup options if Sprint approach fails

10 May 2013

DISH Network chairman Charlie Ergen has told Fierce Wireless that the company has multiple backup options to enter the US wireless market if its USD25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel does not succeed against Softbank Corp’s rival USD20.1 billion proposal to take over the carrier. Options are said to include selling DISH’s 40MHz block of S-band satellite spectrum in the 2GHz band, disposing of the entire company, partnering with another wireless carrier, or wholesaling capacity, as the ill-fated LightSquared had planned to do before its plans came unstuck. However, building a green-field network and competing as a fifth national wireless player is low on Ergen’s list of his priorities. Ergen commented: ‘We have to be prepared to win, and we have to be prepared to lose … I like where we are strategically. We are going to work our darndest to get Sprint. We are going to bid as much as we can to get it’. He called Softbank ‘a formidable competitor’ but suggested that cultural differences between the Japanese firm and Sprint could pose problems further down the line, giving DISH a ‘home field advantage’.

United States, DISH Network, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)