• And the USA's New Fourth National Carrier is...



    ... the Dish Network—according to Bloomberg, anyway.

    Dish has apparently agreed to buy spectrum and existing business (Boost Mobile) from Sprint and T-Mobile, in a deal worth about $5 billion USD. From the source:

    After weeks of negotiations, the parties have hammered out an agreement under which Dish will pay about $1.5 billion for prepaid mobile businesses and roughly $3.5 billion for spectrum, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are still private. Under the terms of the deal, Dish can’t sell the assets or hand over control of the agreement to a third party for three years, the people said.
    Bloomberg goes on to report that the deal sets the stage for the Justice Department to finally approve the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. And it could happen as early as Thursday! More details at the links immediately below.

    Source: Bloomberg via Android Police, The Verge

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: T-Mobile and Sprint’s deal with Dish Network is reportedly ‘imminent’ started by trees12 View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      It's all good news. The 5% condition is not a deal-breaker. Yes, someone could buy Dish and resell T-Mobile spectrum in the short-term. But really, so what? Once that wholesale agreement ends, if the 4th network does not match T-mobile in quality, it would be really easy for T-mobile to get all of those customers back onto their network.

      The main thing is that the agreement with Dish is made and that the DOJ signs off. Then T-Mobile can fight the states. But with the 4th carrier plans, the states won't have strong arguments and its questionable that they even have standing to fight this.

      Like I said, it looks good.
    1. offthegrid's Avatar
      offthegrid -
      What I'm reading is that the mother ship, DT, is the only thing keeping this from happening by the end of the week. They may decide not to pull the trigger.

      It would be interesting if that were the case. Dish could always go to Sprint and say let us piggyback on your network in exchange for use of our low band spectrum and we'll bring in some investors to make that network expansion possible - Google, Charter, Altice et all. I think at some point Son would welcome any new money regardless of the terms as the alternative for Sprint isn't very good otherwise. It wouldn't have to be some huge cash infusion from any individual cable co either if they all came in for a piece - including Google who has local fiber in several markets.

      I've never seen anything about this online but cable cos could easily become huge small cell players in metro areas. I think Altice has brought on 20,000+ small cells for Sprint in their local areas - I guess Sprint has reciprocal rights on those.

      Anyway this is pretty much at a close.
    1. Peterfield's Avatar
      Peterfield -
      It will be late 2020 or more likely 2021 before all this is up and running so we’ll see how it all turns out a couple of years down the road. I’m actually more interested to see how satellite broadband will change the landscape for internet providers.
    1. offthegrid's Avatar
      offthegrid -
      Quote Originally Posted by Peterfield View Post
      It will be late 2020 or more likely 2021 before all this is up and running so we’ll see how it all turns out a couple of years down the road. I’m actually more interested to see how satellite broadband will change the landscape for internet providers.
      Initial tests of actual unloaded peak speeds and latency look pretty good but still no claims about capacity re data caps from anyone.

      I believe despite claims that it will be a couple of years before these are up and running in any real capacity also though.

      https://arstechnica.com/information-...y-in-new-test/

      OneWeb’s low-Earth satellites hit 400Mbps and 32ms latency in new test
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Wake me up when this deal is done one way or another. Depending on how much Spectrum The New T-Mobile must sell to Dish and how much discount Dish gets to be the backbone for Dish/Boost Mobile, will determine if this was a good deal taking on all the billions of debt from Sprint.
    1. @TheRealDanny's Avatar
      @TheRealDanny -
      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/22/t-mo...this-week.html

      The Department of Justice is nearing approval of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. An announcement could happen as soon as Wednesday, sources say.

      As part of a deal, Dish will be propped up to better compete as a new national U.S. wireless competitor.

      While Deutsche Telekom, the controlling owner of the combined Sprint and T-Mobile, is concerned about Dish’s competitive threat, it has decided that moving forward without Sprint is a worse outcome than helping Dish.

      • First, even if Dish partners with a big-balance-sheet company and builds out a national network, losing Sprint would allow a large tech company or cable operator to buy the Sprint network and spectrum out of bankruptcy or for a cut-rate price.
      • Second, for every customer that signs up to Dish’s wireless network, T-Mobile will receive about half of the economics, according to people familiar with the matter. That’s the price Dish has agreed to pay to share T-Mobile’s network.
      • And third, T-Mobile needs to get more competitive with AT&T and Verizon as U.S. customers move to 5G in the coming years. Subscribers will have a chance to reset providers based on who has the most reliable, fastest network with new handsets and new technology. T-Mobile could be at a severe disadvantage to its larger competitors if it doesn’t have the necessary resources and capacity to keep up.
    1. zapjb's Avatar
      zapjb -
      I think I've restrained myself from saying this in 10 days or so, so....

      This deal won't happen.
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/22/t-mo...this-week.html

      The Department of Justice is nearing approval of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. An announcement could happen as soon as Wednesday, sources say.

      As part of a deal, Dish will be propped up to better compete as a new national U.S. wireless competitor.

      While Deutsche Telekom, the controlling owner of the combined Sprint and T-Mobile, is concerned about Dish’s competitive threat, it has decided that moving forward without Sprint is a worse outcome than helping Dish.

      • First, even if Dish partners with a big-balance-sheet company and builds out a national network, losing Sprint would allow a large tech company or cable operator to buy the Sprint network and spectrum out of bankruptcy or for a cut-rate price.
      • Second, for every customer that signs up to Dish’s wireless network, T-Mobile will receive about half of the economics, according to people familiar with the matter. That’s the price Dish has agreed to pay to share T-Mobile’s network.
      • And third, T-Mobile needs to get more competitive with AT&T and Verizon as U.S. customers move to 5G in the coming years. Subscribers will have a chance to reset providers based on who has the most reliable, fastest network with new handsets and new technology. T-Mobile could be at a severe disadvantage to its larger competitors if it doesn’t have the necessary resources and capacity to keep up.
      This is all great news. I totally believe that it is essential that T-Mobile close this merger now for the very reasons listed. It is vital they are in a better position to compete with AT&T and Verizon with 5G coming.

      Furthermore, I don't think Dish will ever be a threat to make a 4th nationwide network. Charlie is going to sit on these spectrum assets that he's getting from T-Mobile. And I predict in a few years, he'll try to merge them back into the new T-Mobile. He'll be smart enough not to offer really low prices on Boost, so nobody will be able to say that they'll lose his low prices if he merges. T-Mobile could end up in an even better spectrum position in the future if they got all of Charlies merged in with them.

      Good things on the road ahead!
    1. hwertz's Avatar
      hwertz -
      Interesting times indeed. I think T-Mo could get by without this but it'll put them in a strong position spectrum-wise that's for sure.

      Dish? Charlie's a real character.. I could see it going either way, building up a new 4th carrier (since they'd be starting a network from scratch and I doubt could compete on coverage, I assume they'd be competing on price instead), or option b, try to keep getting buildout requirement dates pushed later, and sell the spectrum for a nice profit later on.

      If I were in a position like Dish, i could see having some vendor design them a microcell that costs more like computer technology and less like telecom hardware, if the microcell hardware was like $500-1000 they could get a network built out reasonably economically (obviously the massive backhaul requirement would cost a fair amount...) (This doesn't address rural, which needs high power sites, but for a brand new network from scratch I assume just like both T-Mo and Sprint early on, and really any carrier in it's infancy, they would run in city coverage and some highway corridors first and roll out elsewhere later.)
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
      What I'm reading is that the mother ship, DT, is the only thing keeping this from happening by the end of the week. They may decide not to pull the trigger.

      It would be interesting if that were the case. Dish could always go to Sprint and say let us piggyback on your network in exchange for use of our low band spectrum and we'll bring in some investors to make that network expansion possible - Google, Charter, Altice et all. I think at some point Son would welcome any new money regardless of the terms as the alternative for Sprint isn't very good otherwise. It wouldn't have to be some huge cash infusion from any individual cable co either if they all came in for a piece - including Google who has local fiber in several markets.

      I've never seen anything about this online but cable cos could easily become huge small cell players in metro areas. I think Altice has brought on 20,000+ small cells for Sprint in their local areas - I guess Sprint has reciprocal rights on those.

      Anyway this is pretty much at a close.
      This issue with Sprint is they are hemorrhaging money -- to the point they've been giving away service, and even now you can get their unlimited for $25/month. It does Dish no good to do a spectrum hosting deal with Sprint, as Sprint can't afford to build it out. There are good reasons no one has shown interest in buying Sprint, other than T-Mobile.

      Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
      Interesting times indeed. I think T-Mo could get by without this but it'll put them in a strong position spectrum-wise that's for sure.

      Dish? Charlie's a real character.. I could see it going either way, building up a new 4th carrier (since they'd be starting a network from scratch and I doubt could compete on coverage, I assume they'd be competing on price instead), or option b, try to keep getting buildout requirement dates pushed later, and sell the spectrum for a nice profit later on.

      If I were in a position like Dish, i could see having some vendor design them a microcell that costs more like computer technology and less like telecom hardware, if the microcell hardware was like $500-1000 they could get a network built out reasonably economically (obviously the massive backhaul requirement would cost a fair amount...) (This doesn't address rural, which needs high power sites, but for a brand new network from scratch I assume just like both T-Mo and Sprint early on, and really any carrier in it's infancy, they would run in city coverage and some highway corridors first and roll out elsewhere later.)
      My guess is that Charlie is going to look for someone to build the network for him -- likely a deal with Amazon or the cable companies. I'm sure this is why DT was wanting the 5% limit, as they are worried who actually will be running the new 4th carrier (and that it won't be Dish). At the same time, a stronger 4th carrier is likely better for us, as consumers.
    1. DRNewcomb's Avatar
      DRNewcomb -
      Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
      .......My guess is that Charlie is going to look for someone to build the network for him -- likely a deal with Amazon or the cable companies. I'm sure this is why DT was wanting the 5% limit, as they are worried who actually will be running the new 4th carrier (and that it won't be Dish). At the same time, a stronger 4th carrier is likely better for us, as consumers.
      I think it requires a change of mindset on the part of carriers but the ability to spread infrastructure costs across multiple networks should have a huge impact on the bottom line. If T-Mobile gets someone else to pay for 50%-70% of their network OPEX and CAPEX, just think about the coverage and service they could provide. How much more efficient their operation can be. Everyone acts as if T-Mobile will be hosting DISH's spectrum for free! I've seen nothing to indicate this. This should be a huge income stream. Carriers long ago got used to sharing towers. Now, they just have to get used to sharing antennas.

      P.S. My only real problem with this deal is that it gets DISH out from under the FCC's build-out requirements and I really would have like to see DISH forced to forfeit those licenses.
    1. techfranz's Avatar
      techfranz -
      T-Mobile and Sprint are renegotiating the sale price due to Sprints assets needing to be divested.

      https://www.bizjournals.com/kansasci...ation.amp.html
    1. techfranz's Avatar
      techfranz -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
      I think it requires a change of mindset on the part of carriers but the ability to spread infrastructure costs across multiple networks should have a huge impact on the bottom line. If T-Mobile gets someone else to pay for 50%-70% of their network OPEX and CAPEX, just think about the coverage and service they could provide. How much more efficient their operation can be. Everyone acts as if T-Mobile will be hosting DISH's spectrum for free! I've seen nothing to indicate this. This should be a huge income stream. Carriers long ago got used to sharing towers. Now, they just have to get used to sharing antennas.

      P.S. My only real problem with this deal is that it gets DISH out from under the FCC's build-out requirements and I really would have like to see DISH forced to forfeit those licenses.
      All very good points.
    1. techfranz's Avatar
      techfranz -
      More news that sounds like the deal is wrapping up...

      https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/a...ireless-assets
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
      More news that sounds like the deal is wrapping up...

      https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/a...ireless-assets
      Some very promising news. They get $5 billion which will help finance the merger. $1.5 billion for Boost and Virgin Mobile seems fair. $3.5 billion of spectrum that they're selling doesn't sound like that much. I don't think they'll miss it.

      They'll still make some money off of the seven year wholesale agreement with Dish. It's basically like having an MVNO. And after the seven years, if Dish still hasn't built a nationwide network (which I doubt they will) then a new deal can be made to keep those customers on the T-mobile network.

      If this deal ultimately results in the merger, then it was a great strategy to whomever thought of it. Hopefully the DOJ signs off on Thursday llike the article says. Then it's onto fight with the state attorney generals...
    1. offthegrid's Avatar
      offthegrid -
      So they can have an investor come on board for a 49% share of Dish Wireless since that wouldn't be 'control'.

      Under the terms of the deal, Dish can’t sell the assets or hand over control of the agreement to a third party for three years, the people said.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      [Putting this thread on the front page...]

      Attachment 163432

      ... the Dish Network—according to Bloomberg, anyway.

      Dish has apparently agreed to buy spectrum and existing business (Boost Mobile) from Sprint and T-Mobile, in a deal worth about $5 billion USD. From the source:

      After weeks of negotiations, the parties have hammered out an agreement under which Dish will pay about $1.5 billion for prepaid mobile businesses and roughly $3.5 billion for spectrum, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are still private. Under the terms of the deal, Dish can’t sell the assets or hand over control of the agreement to a third party for three years, the people said.
      Bloomberg goes on to report that the deal sets the stage for the Justice Department to finally approve the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. And it could happen as early as Thursday! More details at the links immediately below.

      Source: Bloomberg via Android Police, The Verge
    1. ckoch125's Avatar
      ckoch125 -
      Now maybe Dish will quit hoarding the spectrum and build out their network like they were supposed to years ago. Too bad the FCC never enforces things...
    1. zapjb's Avatar
      zapjb -
      In other news it's reported I will eat 3 doughnuts today. Stay tuned this should be finished & wrapped up by midnight.
    1. SoxFan76's Avatar
      SoxFan76 -
      Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
      It would be interesting if that were the case. Dish could always go to Sprint and say let us piggyback on your network in exchange for use of our low band spectrum and we'll bring in some investors to make that network expansion possible - Google, Charter, Altice et all. I think at some point Son would welcome any new money regardless of the terms as the alternative for Sprint isn't very good otherwise. It wouldn't have to be some huge cash infusion from any individual cable co either if they all came in for a piece - including Google who has local fiber in several markets.
      That's an interesting alternative scenario.

      I've never seen anything about this online but cable cos could easily become huge small cell players in metro areas. I think Altice has brought on 20,000+ small cells for Sprint in their local areas - I guess Sprint has reciprocal rights on those.
      Correct, they are Sprint small cells in NYC and Long Island. That is HUGE for Sprint in those areas, as they will have crazy density on the cheap.

      Quote Originally Posted by Peterfield View Post
      It will be late 2020 or more likely 2021 before all this is up and running so we’ll see how it all turns out a couple of years down the road. I’m actually more interested to see how satellite broadband will change the landscape for internet providers.
      LEO satellite won't do much except for people with very limited internet options, like geosynchronous satellite or weak LTE.

      Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
      [*]First, even if Dish partners with a big-balance-sheet company and builds out a national network, losing Sprint would allow a large tech company or cable operator to buy the Sprint network and spectrum out of bankruptcy or for a cut-rate price.
      That would be good.

      [*]And third, T-Mobile needs to get more competitive with AT&T and Verizon as U.S. customers move to 5G in the coming years. Subscribers will have a chance to reset providers based on who has the most reliable, fastest network with new handsets and new technology. T-Mobile could be at a severe disadvantage to its larger competitors if it doesn’t have the necessary resources and capacity to keep up.[/LIST]
      Yet T-Mobile still has about twice the sub-6 mhz per POPs as Verizon.

      Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
      This is all great news. I totally believe that it is essential that T-Mobile close this merger now for the very reasons listed. It is vital they are in a better position to compete with AT&T and Verizon with 5G coming.
      This is terrible if it goes through. It will be a disaster for the US wireless market, since we will go from 4 to 3, which, as the podcast on the front page describes, raises prices in virtually every market studied. We will have less competition, fewer options, and higher prices.