Now that it has emerged from bankruptcy protection, LightSquared wants to get back to what it had planned to do before it got mired in restructuring nearly three years ago: use spectrum to provide wireless service to U.S. customers.
Dish Network's spectrum licenses right now could be worth as much--or possibly more--than the spectrum licenses owned by Sprint or T-Mobile US. Dish's spectrum position, bolstered by the incredible increases in Americans' demands for wireless service, makes Charlie Ergen's Dish an incredibly powerful player in the U.S. wireless market. But how exactly will Dish cash in on that position?
LightSquared's bankruptcy odyssey is over. After spending nearly three years in bankruptcy protection, the wireless firm won approval for a new restructuring plan from a federal bankruptcy court judge and will get recapitalized. Critically, although Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, LightSquared's largest creditor, will get paid in cash for his $1 billion debt claim in LightSquared, he will not be a part of the company's new capital structure.
The LightSquared bankruptcy saga continues. Two private equity firms, Cerberus Capital Management and Solus Alternative Asset Management, proposed a new restructuring plan for LightSquared that has garnered the support of Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, LightSquared's largest creditor.
T-Mobile US executives are making no secret of their desire to work with Dish Network and its chairman Charlie Ergen as Dish ponders how it will enter the wireless industry.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere reiterated his willingness to work with satellite TV provider and spectrum powerhouse Dish Network in some fashion.
Dish Network wants to use its wireless spectrum to launch an innovative mobile video service, and is willing to partner with companies both in and out of the wireless industry to do so, according to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. The key to any teaming would be that Dish and its partner should be able to accomplish more together than they could apart, he said.
Dish Network Chairman and founder Charlie Ergen, who has masterminded the company's push into the wireless market through spectrum purchases and regulatory gambits, will take over as CEO of the company at the end of March. Dish said its current CEO, Joe Clayton, will leave his position and Dish's board as of March 31.
Dish Network could become a wholesale wireless capacity provider, perhaps in partnership with Sprint, and its spectrum could well be worth more in that scenario than it would be if Dish sold the airwaves, according to a new report from financial analysts. Such an arrangement could eventually net Dish around $10 billion in revenue per year, according to the analysts.
The market continues to undervalue Dish Network's spectrum holdings, and Dish will continue to be part of M&A discussions through 2015, according to a report from by Jefferies analysts. The massive bids in the ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction are contributing to the situation, they added.