Advanced Television

DISH Network bandwidth extension likely

October 20, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Charlie Ergen’ DISH Network looks like it will be granted an 800 MHz extension to its existing licensed 5G bandwidth over much of the US. The extension will come about because of a Licence Transfer deal with T-Mobile.

In a recent filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, DISH has argued that turmoil in global capital markets in the past few years have made DISH’s ability to buy the licences more onerous than anticipated.

DISH has asked the FCC to give it more time to raise the necessary cash to buy the bandwidth and follows the merger between cellular operators T-Mobile and Sprint, and created the ‘Boost’ opersator which is owned by DISH.

DISH says that it has already installed transmission kit on 16,000 relay cellular towers and which can handle 5G calls. The move means that once the 800 Mhz under discussion are made available to DISH then the towers will immediately be able to handle calls.

Also in the financial mix is the merger between DISH and its former sister business EchoStar. Once the marriage is completed then DISH can access EchoStar’s cash assets of around $2 billion.

The current rules are than T-Mobile must hand back to the FCC its 800 MHz of spectrum by April 1st 2024. The FCC says that the “acquiring defendants” (ie DISH Network) can purchase the 800 MHz subject to payment of an extension fee. Reports suggest that the Extension Fee will cost DISH $100 million.

Categories: Articles, Spectrum

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