T-Mobile's Legere again opens door to partnering with Dish

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere reiterated his willingness to work with satellite TV provider and spectrum powerhouse Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) in some fashion.

Speaking during parent Deutsche Telekom's capital markets day, Legere said that "Dish and we, that makes some sense."

"It makes sense from the standpoint of integrating that spectrum and capability and deploying it at our network," he said, referring to the spectrum Dish won in the AWS-3 auction, according to Reuters. Dish, via designated entity bidding partners, secured 25 MHs of AWS-3 spectrum for $10 billion when discounts are factored in. 

Source: T-Mobile

T-Mobile will pay $1.77 billion for 151 licenses in the AWS-3 auction to fill out its mid-band spectrum portfolio.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said earlier this week that T-Mobile might be a company Dish would be interested in partnering with. Dish now has at least 75 MHz of mid-band spectrum but no network of its own, and Ergen has often said Dish will look to partner with an existing wireless carrier to launch its service. Dish wants to launch an innovative mobile service that has video as its core offering.

T-Mobile "is a company we think highly [of]. I mean it's hard not to be impressed with what they've been able to accomplish in the last couple of years," Ergen said. However, while he praised T-Mobile's focus on the needs of consumers, Ergen made clear Dish is not committed to working with any one company right now.

Legere praised Dish's spectrum holdings and video offerings during the carrier's quarterly conference call with investors earlier this month, and hinted he would be open to working with Ergen. "I think Dish is a great opportunity, both for the country and for possibly T-Mobile," he said, according to Seeking Alpha transcript of his remarks.

Legere hinted then that T-Mobile might be open to hosting Dish's spectrum on its network. "But I see no version of what Dish is doing as not being a positive for us," he said. "And we'd be interested in each aspect of it including some sort of a sharing. But obviously, if there's a sharing, somebody has to create it to be able to be shared, which also is opportunity for us."

During T-Mobile's presentation at Deutsche Telekom's capital markets day, T-Mobile said it is ahead of plan in terms of integrating with MetroPCS and shutting down MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network to achieve cost savings. T-Mobile is also busy refarming MetroPCS' spectrum for LTE. T-Mobile now expects the value of the synergies from its purchase of MetroPCS to be $9 billion to $10 billion, $3 billion more than its original plan. The carrier expects to hit a synergy run-rate of at least $1.5 billion in 2016 compared to an earlier target of 2017. The company also expects its one-time costs to be anywhere from $750 million to $1.05 billion lower than it previously thought.

T-Mobile also cut its long-term margin target, citing rapid subscriber growth. It now sees its margin on adjusted EBITDA reaching 32-34 percent in 2017, compared with a previous target of 34-36 percent.

For more:
- see these two separate Reuters articles
- see this YouTube video
- see this DT site

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