With Sprint Off The Table, Will Dish Turn Its Attention To T-Mobile?


With Dish Network abandoning its attempt to scoop up Sprint Nextel out from under SoftBank, the question now becomes where will they look next? Dish has made it perfectly clear that it wants to succeed and work in the wireless space, which begs the question about where they go from here? As it stands today, Dish holds 40MHz of 2GHz spectrum and a small portion of 700MHz spectrum. Analysts of course suggest that Dish could reignite its talks with Deutsche Telekom in the hopes of picking up T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal, however with discussions held earlier in the year it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility to think that Dish may want another shot at the fourth-place carrier.

Dish still has other options, including a tie-up with DirecTV, the deal many analysts suspected was the best option from the beginning. However, the two satellite TV giants attempted a merger 10 years ago and failed amidst heavy regulatory pressure. The difference today is that the regulatory landscape looks nothing like it did 10 years ago and regulatory agencies may look more favorably on a deal coming together.

Other alternatives include a purchase by AT&T, a company that has the means and the desire to enter the satellite TV market. However, this is another deal that would be seen as concerning regulators given how much spectrum AT&T already holds.

Which brings us back full-circle to T-Mobile, the largest carrier that looks ripe for purchase. While the terms of the T-Mobile, MetroPCS merger required Deutsche Telekom to stay a part of the joint company for 18 months, there is a loophole that allows them to sell all their shares in one fell swoop. With the knowledge that it’s long been known DT wants to exit the US and focus more on their other international businesses, is this something we can truly rule out?

Dish is looking for a partner, of that we seem certain and perhaps now they are ready to agree to move favorable terms and convince DT they are the best partner moving forward. Time will tell where Charlie Ergen takes his company, but counting Dish out as a possible T-Mobile buyer looks to be preliminary once again.

Fierce Wireless via WSJ

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  • best

    If Dish Network were to buy T-Mobile. I’m out of here,

    • du22ty

      What’s wrong with Dish Network?

      • best

        There is not difference between ATT, Time Warner Cable and Dish Network.

        They are all terrible in their selected field.

        • du22ty

          Yeah.. I understand that your opinion is Dish Network sucks. I was just wondering the reason why you think that.

        • Whiskers

          My wife worked for Dish for 6 months of complete hell.
          They screw everything up they touch and that includes their employees.
          There is a reason why they were voted in the top three lately as the top hated companies across America.
          If it becomes Dish Mobile , i’m gone for good….

        • henry

          Maybe they treat their employees bad but they still deliver excellent tv service and try to innovate/change cable television. They offer competitive pricing in the tv market like t-mobile in the telecommunication market. I think they would be perfect t-mobile would have the most spectrum in the country even though the 2Ghz isn’t ideal for wireless telecommunication.

        • pnwoutback08

          Any buy out or partnership is always a bad idea.

        • Whiskers

          Once they have you on contract your screwed.
          If you think they will keep no contract service once they buy T-Mobile out you are only fooling yourself.
          It will turn into a giant cluster fuck of two year contracts like their TV service and it will cost as much as AT&T or Verizon once all the changes are done.
          It’s all about money to them and the no contract ride will be over along with the 0% EIP loans for handsets.
          Only ones that are currently finishing out their contract when Dish buys out T-Mobile will be the lucky ones because they can’t modify that until your contracts done.
          Then it’s Bend-Over time…….

        • Baxter DeBerry

          doubt it, for sometime I believe Dish will keep T-Mobile as it is, they def cant raise the price upwards to AT&T and Verizon or even Sprints prices without justifying the value… that alone would take years.. coverage is extremely behind but major city’s it isn’t a problem mainly, but then again who knows?

        • Baxter DeBerry

          2Ghz and possibly clearwires.. although like you said t-mobile would need something below 1000Mhz for excellent wireless telecommunication

      • 21stNow

        They don’t know their own products and services now; how confused would they be if they added cellular phone services to the mix?

        I called to find out more information about the internet service that is offered through Dish Network. I went to the website first, but the website says call for more information. I called; it seemed like people had only vaguely heard of this internet service. I was transferred around and I told the fifth person that if she couldn’t help me, to end the call now.

        A customer usually receives the best treatment during the sales process. If that was the sales process, I have absolutely no desire to see what it would be like as an existing customer. Add me to the defectors if Dish buys T-Mobile US.

    • philyew

      I understand that everyone’s experience will be different, but I made the switch from DirecTv to Dish, based on a very thorough analysis of services and prices.

      So far, I have no reason to be disappointed. I got an upgraded service for far less than DirecTv were asking for an inferior upgrade. The monthly charges are exactly on track with the month-to-month projections that I had made, I have had excellent customer service when making changes, and fewer service outages because of weather conditions.

  • sushimane

    im crossing my fingers no.

  • philly8

    why doesnt dish just buy shares?

  • redman12

    I don’t support this at all.

  • D Velasquez

    Dish buying T-Mobile , hell no, T-Mobile buying Dish then that could be something and it will put TMOUS at the same level as DT in Germany where the big T offers cable service/internet to their customers.

    • Jose Hernandez

      Sadly, T-Mobile doesn’t have the cash even if they wanted to do it.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      ha, if they had the capital sure, and if they had nation wide coverage… other wise whats the point???!??!?!?!?!

  • williejackbrainer

    This could be very interesting. I’m not going to jump ship unless there are drastic changes made, because of the purchase if and when it happens.

  • Dish is an incredibly terrible company. I would be more than upset if they acquired T-Mobile US and may even take my 13+ years of business elsewhere if that actually happened, tho I really do not want to do that. I love T-Mobile and the direction it’s currently going, I “seriously” doubt that Dish will get a hold of Magenta.

  • tech916

    Who cares, tmobile is already down the gutter since merging with GhettoMetro

    • Baxter DeBerry


  • Aurizen

    If dish buys T-Mobile…. what will happen? will they keep the business as is approach and use more spectrum?

  • Eas8932

    I just don’t know much about Dish as a company. Why all the hate? What makes this potential purchase so bad? Just trying to understand.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      agreed i need more info on Dish.

  • Dish Network sucks .. so one can stand to reason that any partnership will also suck? lol … seriously though .. Dish was always the little stepson to DirecTV and Uverse .. so yeah .. how exactly would it benefit any carrier to be bought by Dish?

  • Noah James

    I would be fine with dish purchasing t mobile if only because if we want unlimited data to stick around we will need as much spectrum as we can get.

  • pnwoutback08

    Eas- Do some searching and given talk to Dish customers and you will know why Dish sucks.
    They have the worst customer service, they lie on there commercials as having the best channels with HD of which is false. I have known former dish customers and have friends who work in the industry and is all true about how poor there company is run.
    Again a partnership with Dish would be a disaster and would leave the US T-Mobile customers with little control and horrible circumstances.

    • philyew

      Not true in my experience, having been a customer of both.

    • abolds4397

      Not in my experience. Not everyone is happy about anything, you must deal with the bitter former customers. The Dish customer service experience for me has been great so I don’t really understand what others are talking about.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      and to say Direct TV isn’t any better…, lets face it Sat has its problems

  • Noah James

    A question I have that’s not really related to this article if you’re not in an area covered by MetroPCS does that mean the merger between T Mobile Metro won’t help at all?

    • Baxter DeBerry

      exactly, Metro PCS for the most part bought spectrum in areas they choose to serve.. so if your out of the areas that they are in it wont help you at all as far as signal goes, their was a FCC doc that you can view and see what counties are covered

      • Noah James

        thanks for the reply, so I guess this MetroPCS deal will not help me at all. Huh T-Mobile should of bought cricket. (that would have been useful in my area.)

  • Dakota

    I hate DIsh. Never heard one positive comment from anybody thats used them. I live in a large complex and every satellite dish is Directv

    • henry

      you do know that dish manufactures those satellites for directv?

      • tmofan

        Even if this were true, it has no bearing on how it will handle tmo. Now dish making sats for dtv doesn’t make them a better satellite provider. All it means is they make sats because dtv doesnt want to nor see the benefit from it.

    • philyew

      Here’s a positive comment then. I’ve been a customer of both and am much happier with Dish, whose dealings are much more transparent – as well as being cheaper – in my experience. I’ve also had fewer service outages.

    • abolds4397

      I have Dish and used it for years. I don’t have any complaints about the service. I love it!

  • lzc753

    Dish Network? Why T-Mobile? No Bueno!!!

    • pnwoutback08

      Because I see that T-Mobile once again is struggling again and Duetsche is again wanting to dump its US side.

      • Guest

        Agreed, T-Mobile as a whole did a great job upgrading to hspa+.. but sadly theirs issues, coverage being one major issue.. and thats because they dont have the capital to roll it out

        • redman12

          You clearly haven’t been following this site..

        • samsavoy

          I’ve been for a year. I see a lot of LTE propaganda. That’s about it.

        • Jose Hernandez

          For the love of God. LTE is scheduled for an end of summer launch. We just now started summer. Patience.

        • samsavoy

          I don’t care when LTE launches. HSPA+ serves my needs fine, and with 1900MHz will have better indoor service than LTE anyway, which is their real problem.

        • Baxter DeBerry

          Still not good enough they need the golden spectrum.. their the only ones without it, golden being less than 1000Mhz

  • pnwoutback08

    This overall talk about buyouts or partnerships is again beginning to put all us at unease and sad to think that having to go to ATT or even Verizon of both being controlling company.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      ill never go back to either, if have to id go to sprint

  • MuthaFuckinStephen

    As long as things don’t change and works for the better. I’m up for it.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    As long as Dish is willing to pay the bucks T Mobile will be for sale. I personally wouldn’t want ATT, Verizon or Sprint/Softbank to buy T Mobile.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      Agreed, I think the money Dish can bring into T-Mobile would help expand efforts to become more of a competitor and fix coverage..

      • Jarobusa

        Don’t you mean the debt they would bring to T-Mobile? There is a reason Spring chose Softbank over Dish even with Dish’s higher per share offer.

        • Baxter DeBerry

          ha, and with out Dish what you think is gonna happen?, weather people believe it or not T-Mobile needs more work done and doesn’t have a lot of time to do so, LTE is great but its not gonna be everywhere, plus we know Duetsche telecom doesn’t want to keep going and hasn’t for some time. Now the question becomes where is it going to get the money for the auctions next year? better yet where’s it gonna get the money to expand.. of course at this time we don’t really know how much they have made since changing the company and for the company sake I hope its quite a bit.. For anyone saying well lets just rely on the stockholders… the funny thing about that is we all know stockholders hate a few things such as spending money.. so please answer my questions or run them threw.. I’m not trying to bash or anything but seriously I believe that Dish and T-Mobile would have a greater chance especially with Dish’s extra spectrum.

    • Hendrick

      This could happen after Softbank has been able to get Sprint back on track. The problem might be what the FCC will do and if they allow such merger to proceed.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    That’s absolutely right David, I’ve been waiting to see if Dish was gone make a offer for T-Mobile because Sprint and Softbank are about to finish up they’re deal.  Shareholder vote tomorrow.  Dish is done with them.  So that leaves us T-Mobile I’m interested in how things are gonna unfold in July.

    Tmobile needs the spectrum for better coverage. And maybe a merger could be a better financial situation for both companies

  • gadget_hero

    I sure hope Dish picks a merger with DirecTV rather than to try and buy T-Mobile. I still don’t see why Sprint can’t sell the towers and Huawei equipment from Clearwire to Dish, as I am sure they will eventually move all Clearwire’s equipment to Sprint towers once the buyout is official. It works for Sprint because as part of the Softbank deal they are required to remove all that equipment anyway.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      Dish’s shenanigans has cost Sprint 3 billion in potential capital infusion and 1.7 billion in cost to buy Clearwire. They have cost Softbank 1.5 billion

      Do you really believe Sprint wants to deal with Dish?

      They would rather eat the cost and tell dish to kick rocks, plus most of the Huawei equipment is related to WiMax, which dish has no interest in. Also some of the Clearwire sites are protection sites where Sprint has no Coverage, which means expanded coverage if Sprint converts those sites.

      • gadget_hero

        I know that but a lot of the equipment can also be used for TD-LTE and I didn’t say sell all of it, just sell what Sprint doesn’t want. Plus they still have to rip out that equipment as per the US dept of Justice requirements for the SoftBank takeover. Plus Sprint won’t be keeping the vast majority of Clearwire towers (as their is significant overlap), as Dan Hesse has said several times. All I was saying is they could get some money (as Sprint gets to keep less money in the new deal), meet US dept of Justice requirements, and they dump “x” amount of tower leases (OpEx).

    • MetroPCS

      Why would Dish and Direct merge, they tried 10 yrs ago, but they say regulation is different now, doesn’t make sense to me Then there would be only one sat company and your local cable company (like terrible Comcast , your bill goes to Xfinity and Beyond)

      • gadget_hero

        Well as I don’t buy TV service separate from internet (and I imagine most people don’t either why do you think bundles are so popular), I have two choices, AT&T DSL (due to regulations in TN my neighbor can get Uverse but I can’t) or Comcast. We had satellite (DirectTV) but my mom hated the channel organization and that it cut out in bad weather.

    • Jimmy

      Bad plan. A monopoly in satellite television is hardly ideal.

      • wazmo

        The Feds didn’t stop Sirius and XM now, did it?

        • Jimmy

          True, and I was quite surprised they didn’t. They should have. But I’d wager to say that most people view TV as being more of a modern necessity than Satellite Radio. But you raise an interesting point.

      • gadget_hero

        I don’t think satellite is as important today as it was 10 years ago, why do you think Charlie is so desperate to get a wireless provider (he needs pipes as the future is IP not set-top boxes in fixed rooms), I mean for one thing people like onDemand features (and DirectTV/Dish have poor options for these), and when I had satellite they had to piggy back on my internet connection, while that was fine because I have Comcast (yes I know some people hate them but I have had a fairly good experience with them, would i take faster speeds for less sure but that’s not a option), I would imagine satellite is generally aimed at the bandwidth starved areas of the country.

    • wazmo

      Didn’t stop Sirius and XM…

  • Hendrick

    Nobody is considering Leap Wireless aka Cricket. That company has it’s presents, still hold spectrum not used currently and could use the Dish spectrum for video services. The company would be cheap considering the current market cap.

    • Alim

      Cricket is a sinking ship. Their debts outweigh their spectrum position.

      • Brian

        Yeah. The last thing T-Mobile needs right now is CDMA to GSM migration on TWO fronts.

        Plus, talk about sketchy… I’m sorry, but I don’t like Cricket’s sales tactics. I spoke to a mall rep once who made me feel like I should run for my life.

        • Hendrick

          A sales rep in a mall will never be the best guy to provide you with network specific answers because they don’t care.

          In addition, the goal is to migrate CDMA to LTE and not GSM. Yes GSM is used as backup but the real goal is VOLTE.

      • Hendrick

        Not correct, Leap has not made a profit, yes but it has spectrum and a working network. Dish could and should capitalize on the existing infrastructure and expand Leap’s footprint.

    • Blacklighted

      Cricket’s network is all AWS spectrum, something T-Mo could absolutely use to it’s advantage, but should they buy Cricket now, or pick up the spectrum at fire-sale prices when Cricket files for bankruptcy shortly??

      Cricket has been abandoning their less profitable tower sites for over a year now, and it won’t be long until they just operate under the Cricket name, as a Sprint MVNO.

      • Hendrick

        Cricket will not go into bankruptcy and already operates outside its native territory as Sprint MVNO. Dish would be able to get a hold into the U.S. market, using these contracts and Leap/Cricket’s core network to expand into wireless for less.

  • Nick

    I have both DIRECTV and T-Mobile, and would love to see DTV get in on T-Mobile. DIRECTV is a great company. Why is everyone ruling them out? It’s not like DIRECTV has publicly said they don’t want to do something with a carrier…

    • Mike White

      I agree. And my opinion matters.

      (/ if you understand the reference)

  • Alan Erickson

    Seeing as how my Dish price has gone up $15 in the last two years with no change in service in order to pay for all of these Dish shenanigans, I suspect my $30 unlimited data tmo plan would not last long under Dish. I’m this close to dropping Dish.

    • Jarobusa

      Actually you can blame ESPN and other high price channels for the price increases.

  • S. Ali

    It it means expansion into rural neighborhoods, then yes, I am all for it. Right now, T-mobile sucks out side metro areas.

  • JotoBanger

    Xfinity (Comcast) should buy T-Mobile US…it would be heaven!!!

    • Jose Hernandez

      Oh, hell no!!!! They would probably try and triple the price.

    • TechHog

      Worst idea ever. Worse than the AT&T deal.

    • Blacklighted

      Comcrap??? U R kidding right??

      Unless you happen to love the rate
      hikes every 3 months, the customer service people that yell and hang up
      on you, the perpetual billing nightmares, and the capped data that runs
      slower than dial-up speeds.

    • RobotChupacabra

      I’m going to assume you’re joking here.

  • jaxgrim

    This sounds highly unlikely. I would be weary of any kind of merger with a television provider. I can see them going the way of land-line telephones. I believe you will see more internet providers step into the television game making companies like direct TV and dish network obsolete. These companies would then just end up being a financial burden to whoever owns them.

  • Josue

    lets see what deal they can dish out

  • MetroPCS

    Wonder if Dish bought T-Mobile from DT, I am sure DT would jump at a 425 bill offer. Would this mean that Dish would treat T-Mobile employees better and fire Legere? Bring back a better phone program and include cheap Sat service?

    • RobotChupacabra

      Better phone program? It’s already the best in the industry (In the US, anyways). Why would you fire Legere?

      • Brian

        Meth is one hell of a drug.

  • Trevnerdio

    I sure hope not…can’t we just leave T-Mobile alone for the time being? They’re doing well.

  • Brian

    Know what would be best?


    LIKE if you agree!

    • I think you need to double your dose. lol

      • Brian

        Haha, perhaps.

        But it would be amazing. DTV is as consumer-oriented as T-Mo. I bet the two dislikes (and no I didn’t like my own post) are from people who’ve never experienced DirecTV.

        Plus, I want combined billing.

        DTV is actively interested in getting a piece of the wireless action. Call them, as I did, at 1-800-531-5000 and flood the call centers, telling them that cozying up with T-Mo is a good idea. We need cash, spectrum, good customer service, and a leader in television. DTV is all of the above.

  • MariaxXT

    hell no i love the t-mobile the way it is now. dish can suck it they will trash tmobile don’t want dish to come near tmobile.

  • Black TheBadGuy

    Here’s a question, could it be possible that with DT wanting out of the U.S. that they aren’t putting forth the effort to make TMOUS as great as it could be? Do they have lack of interest to want it to get bigger, stronger, better?

    Would that make it better for a company who has the same desire to see TMOUS become great to acquire it from DT?

  • Roger Sales

    I don’t think DT’s endgame is to exit the US market completely, so I doubt they will sell the whole company. I think what they really desire is to either partner with another company to make it less expensive on them or to become a minority holder in a larger carrier that can compete for third place(and to maintain leverage in future roaming agreements).

  • spritemoney

    I don’t think Dish should buy T-Mobile. A partnership would seem more viable though

  • graywolf323

    rather have Softbank buy T-Mobile USA instead of Sprint over being bought by DISH

  • LOVE

    unlimited TMobile LTE data with DishNetwork watch TV anywhere feature would be quite awesome..
    the gym, at work, on the commute to work. at home. watch tv anywhere over tmobile lte..

    everywhere. unlimited data. unlimited tv

    • cvgordo

      I already have dish with slingbox and do this already. tmo’s lte is more than enough to get me the “hd” stream on my note 2. it was awesome watching nba playoff games while i was out and about.