YOU ARE AT:5GDish to drop $10 billion on a nationwide 5G network, chairman says

Dish to drop $10 billion on a nationwide 5G network, chairman says

Charlie Ergen casually made 5G announcement at Connect X

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina–During a keynote session at the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Connect X event, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen put out the company’s plan to invest a staggering $10 billion on a nationwide 5G network build.

This builds on a Dish plan to spend $1 billion deploying nationwide coverage for the internet of things. Ergen said the IoT network will use the NB-IoT standard. While there weren’t many specifics laid out in the presentation, Dish is sitting on around $40 billion worth of licensed spectrum that has to be put into use by 2020 lest the service provider faces use-it-or-lose-it rules governing spectral allocations.

Analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson wrote in a research note, “Ergen is a consummate poker player. So perhaps all of this is simply a way to ‘force’ the issue of a spectrum sale before he enters into even more tower leases.”

It looks like Ergen might have caught Dish’s PR team off guard with the announcement, as the company has yet to provide any color on the announcement.

Ergen, the co-founder of the company, has regularly discussed the desire to partner-up in order to make use of the valuable spectrum. With a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US announced and pending regulatory review, some type of consolidation with one of those two carriers seems less likely.

“These are interesting times for Charlie,” said Amy Yong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital USA Inc., according to a piece by Bloomberg. “The options seem to be running out for him.”


Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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