An analyst report from investment advisers and researchers at Cowan suggests that Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network is in a “can’t lose” position as far as the T-Mobile/Sprint merger is concerned.
Dish Network is looking to step in an buy Sprint’s Boost Mobile division in order for the merger to go ahead, and then invest Ergen’s huge portfolio of cellular spectrum in order to create n near-national 4th cellular network over the US.
Cowan says Dish is “sitting pretty” as far as the negotiations are concerned.
Helped by the “treasure trove” of cellular spectrum held by Ergen, the company is in a “win-win” situation if the merger goes ahead.
Cowan explains: “That is, either Dish demands and receives a sweetheart deal (including concession with the FCC on the shot clock and AWS-3 discount dispute) or it walks away,” Cowen says. “If the deal were to break, both T-Mobile and Verizon could end up paying up for spectrum, turning to the Dish portfolio [for capacity].”
Cowan values Dish’s portfolio of spectrum at about $33 billion, and this places it as worth much more than Dish’s share price.
But there are also significant challenges. Cowan says that is Dish has to spend a few years building up the 4th network, and with little by way of expertise, then it will face battles against the very longstanding oligarchy of the three incumbent carriers.