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?
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam wants Congress to take a tougher stance on rules governing bidding in spectrum auctions, and called out Dish Network in particular for its bidding strategy in the AWS-3 auction. In a letter to key lawmakers, McAdam also urged Congress to be more proactive in regulating telecommunications, curb the FCC's recently approved net neutrality rules and rewrite and update the Telecommunications Act.
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.
Verizon Wireless may have scored big in the FCC's recent $45 billion AWS-3 spectrum auction by securing more $10.8 billion in new spectrum in major markets. But one financial analyst believes that the operator is in dire need of more spectrum, because it has over 40 percent of the industry's postpaid customers on its network and controls less than 20 percent of available spectrum.
ATLANTA--T-Mobile US, Sprint and Dish Network continued to push for the FCC to reserve up to 40 MHz of spectrum for smaller carriers to bid on in the incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. The current reserve is capped at 30 MHz. Yet executives from those companies acknowledged that this is just one of many issues carriers, broadcasters and regulators will need to deal with in the months ahead as the early-2016 start date for the auction draws closer.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is pressing ahead with a plan to change the agency's rules on designated entities ahead of next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. Wheeler has vowed to fix the rules so that they benefit truly small businesses and are not used as a front to let major corporations win discounts on spectrum.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said yesterday the agency is going to fix its rules on designated entities to ensure that they benefit truly small businesses and are not used as a front to give discounts on spectrum to multibillion-dollar corporations. Lawmakers, a Republican FCC commissioner and carriers have said that Dish Network manipulated the FCC's designated entity system in its bidding strategy for the AWS-3 spectrum auction to get discounts on airwaves.
It's no secret that Charlie Ergen's Dish Network is an upstart in the wireless industry. In the past several years, the company has amassed a huge portfolio of spectrum licenses it could use to make a major play in the wireless industry. But Ergen's adversaries aren't confined to just the wireless industry.
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.