Private equity firm Centerbridge Partners has dropped its $3.3 billion bid to buy LightSquared out of bankruptcy protection, but LightSquared said it is exploring a similarly structured deal with others. Meanwhile, Dish Network continues to lurk as a potential buyer for LightSquared.
Sprint is partnering with its erstwhile suitor Dish Network on a trial of fixed wireless broadband service. This is the second such trial Dish has engaged in; the first was with Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless.
Centerbridge Partners, a private equity firm, is preparing a $3.3 billion bid to buy LightSquared out of bankruptcy, according to multiple reports, in a deal that could upend Dish Network's own $2.2 billion bid for LightSquared.
Dish Network has officially registered its intent to bid in the FCC's upcoming 1900 MHz PCS H Block spectrum auction--and it is likely to secure a significant amount of licenses since it is the only major company planning to participate in the auction. If Dish is successful in winning H Block licenses, the company would notably improve its already significant spectrum portfolio.
According to a new report from New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin, Charlie Ergen's Dish Network could acquire the most spectrum of any company--around 60 MHz--over the course of the next year or so. If Dish is indeed successful in acquiring the spectrum, the company would own a spectrum war chest of as much as 100 MHz--positioning the company as a potentially major player in the wireless market.
Dish, Sprint and T-Mobile hold very large amounts of high-band spectrum and have been using it to support lots of network and service innovations as a way to compete against AT&T and Verizon. So, why is there such a resurgence of commotion about the virtues of "low-band spectrum?"
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has been on the job for barely two weeks, but Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already lobbying him to ensure rules that let them get access to 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum in the forthcoming incentive auctions.
In the span of 48 hours this week executives from both Sprint and T-Mobile US declared that their companies will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, leaving Dish Network the most likely winner of the spectrum. Analysts said the two carriers are avoiding the H Block auction because they want to focus on their existing spectrum holdings and wait for other upcoming auctions, as well as a avoid complications with Dish and its chairman, Charlie Ergen.
Sprint stunned the market and said it will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block. The news surprised the industry because Sprint owns spectrum directly adjacent to the H Block and was considered a key contender for the spectrum.
T-Mobile US indicated it will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, but said it is still shopping for more spectrum from an unnamed private company.