Dish said to appeal to Deutsche Telekom for T-Mobile-Sprint deal as negotiations continue


T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t been talking publicly about their merger much lately, but the rumor mill is working to keep up in the loop with leaks and other info.

Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen is reportedly in talks with U.S. regulators and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom about a deal that would see Dish become a competitive fourth U.S. carrier, satisfying the Department of Justice and helping T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger get approval.

According to CNBC sources, the talks currently revolve around Dish using the new T-Mobile’s network to host its spectrum until it can complete its own network buildout, which could take years. The parties are trying to determine how long Dish would be able to use new T-Mo’s network and the economic terms of a revenue-sharing deal. Dish is also expected to buy Boost Mobile and some spectrum from T-Mobile and Sprint, but parts of the deal are not the focus of the discussions.

These talks between Dish, regulators, and DT are expected to continue into next week.

Today’s report also notes that Dish may have an edge in the discussions because it would pose less of a threat to the new T-Mobile than other companies, such as Amazon, who has also been linked to a Boost Mobile purchase. Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank (majority owner of Sprint) aren’t concerned about Dish because they know Dish will only use the new T-Mo network for a set amount of time and because the cost of building out a new network could keep Dish at bay for a while.

Dish has a large collection of spectrum, and the FCC has been pressuring Dish to put it to use. Dish promised the FCC in 2013 that it would provide broadband coverage to 70 percent of the population in the 176 markets that are part of the licenses by March 2020. However, Dish has been planning to build a narrowband network for Internet of Things use with that spectrum rather than making an actual wireless competitor. Rumors have said that Dish’s Ergen wants the FCC to eliminate that March 2020 deadline in exchange for buying T-Mo and Sprint’s assets.

Despite all of these talks going on between Dish, regulators, T-Mobile, Sprint, and their parent companies, there’s no guarantee that the merger will get done. Not only is there a lawsuit from a group of state attorneys general who want to block the deal, but Dish’s Ergen is known for being a tough negotiator. He was recently described as “a deal guy” and that “the best deal for him will come when everyone else is spent.”

Source: CNBC

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  • Ummon

    i’ll tell ya whos spent with this merger….me.

  • disqus_jL4eYoDu9l

    Charlie was against this merger at first, now he all on board. I would sell boost to another company not dish.

    • dcmanryan

      Let them buy it. Their reputation has long been ruined and they’ll still die a slow death. That cut throat company will never see another dime from me and hasn’t in 15 years. Anyone stupid enough to be swayed to them gets what will undoubtedly be coming their way. Lies, false charges, broken promises. I good go on and on.

    • JStatt

      They don’t want to sell it to dish. The DOJ wants is because they think they’ll be a more viable 4th carrier.

      • SirStephenH

        Yeah but the problem with that is that they’re picking the wrong company to do it. Dish has been sitting on its spectrum all this time, doing absolutely nothing in order to meet the looming deadline that’s now less than a year away. Dish simply cannot be trusted to follow through and become a competitive fourth carrier.

        • JStatt

          I agree with you. And that’s probably one reason why T-Mobile isn’t completely opposed. They probably think just go ahead and collect wholesale use money for a while and they’ll never become a true competitor. I’m sure there will be more deadlines Dish has to hit with penalties, but your right. They don’t have the reputation of following through.

  • Fabian Cortez

    What a bunch of unnecessary and complicated steps in an effort to setup four carriers after the already existing four carriers in this country intend on becoming three carriers.

    If this is truly about competing with AT&T and Verizon on the 5G front, then Sprint should lease or sell any and all 2.5 GHz spectrum to T-Mobile.

    But of course, this isn’t about 5G. This is about industry consolidation and profit camouflaged under the guise of providing better competition (I guess everyone has been asleep since 2013), 5G coverage, jobs, not raising prices for three years, jobs, faster speeds, ponies and rainbows, and—you guessed it—jobs.

    • George B

      T-Mobile is only willing to pay a large premium over the price of Sprint spectrum holdings and pay off Sprint debt if Sprint disappears as a low price competitor. T-Mobile gets to move up and be a full price competitor to Verizon and AT&T if the Sprint network is replaced by the Dish lack of network. Dish has had many years to become a competitor, but they chose not to build a network and compete. They’d like to not build a network for several more years as they wait for Verizon to come up with the money for Dish spectrum.

  • I think boost would be better off with cpsire or US Cellular. but hey that’s just my opinion. They may not even have the cash

    • SirStephenH

      I don’t know about C Spire but US Cellular has shown zero interest in picking up assets from New T-Mobile.