Mobile carriers and would-be wireless service providers are highly unlikely to meet the FCC's enormous $86.4 billion clearing cost to acquire TV broadcasters' spectrum at auction. And while that may not be good news for existing network operators, it may boost the value of spectrum that's already being held by players such as Dish Network and Ligado.
MoffettNathanson lowered its rating for Dish Network, saying that while the company's mid-band spectrum is theoretically valuable, major U.S. carriers simply can't afford to buy it.
The 3GPP formally approved Band 70, just as satellite TV provider Dish Network said it would.
Dish Network executives maintain that the company will be able to effectively monetize its spectrum and aren't worried about missing the FCC's deadline for leveraging those airwaves, according to analysts at Jefferies.
Dish Network opted to designate all 40 MHz of its AWS-4 spectrum for downlink operations in a move that's sure to boost the value of those airwaves. And in a surprising announcement, the satellite TV operator said it expects that by the end of the month the 3GPP will approve Band 70, which will combine unpaired AWS-3, AWS-4 and H Block airwaves "into a single efficient spectrum plan."
Jefferies analysts took issue with recent claims that Dish Network's spectrum holdings are over-valued, saying the mid-band airwaves are superior for supporting increasing data usage and ramping up capacity.
Public interest groups and the nation's smaller wireless carriers are voicing a number of concerns about Verizon's $1.8 billion proposed acquisition of XO Communications' fiber business and its related deal to lease XO's LMDS spectrum (under XO's Nextlink brand) in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. Specifically, Public Knowledge, the Competitive Carriers association and others are urging the FCC to carefully evaluate the transaction and its possible effects on Verizon's competitors and the overall telecommunications marketplace.
Dish Network's stock fell slightly yesterday following a report from short-selling investment firm Kerrisdale Capital describing Dish's spectrum holdings as a "warehouse full of overpriced inventory."
Dish Network is lobbying the FCC to deny Verizon's proposed $1.8 billion acquisition of XO Communications' spectrum assets and fiber business, claiming among other things that the deal would have an adverse impact on competition in multiple markets.
The FCC today announced it will be able to offer a whopping 126 MHz, or 10 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum on a near-nationwide basis in the forward portion of its 600 MHz incentive auction. That's a huge victory for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and it potentially creates an opening for a new wireless carrier to launch in the United States.