If you follow the telecommunications space at all, then you have likely been reading about the T-Mobile and Sprint megamerger that has been pending for months now. Recently, DISH Network has been increasingly mentioned when that merger comes up. This has led to a lot of people asking why that is. What does DISH have to do with this merger? Let’s take a closer look.
First, it’s important to understand why the T-Mobile and Sprint merger is still pending. In a merger that large, several entities have to sign off on it to make sure it’s not breaching the monopoly laws that are in place in the United States. Right now, the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have to sign off before the deal can be finalized.
Several states have already come together to sue the DOJ in an attempt to deny this merger. Opponents of the merger argue that if approved, the U.S. would go from four to three major wireless carriers; which is very bad news for consumers.
In an effort to combat that perception, experts speculate that T-Mobile and Sprint might sell their wireless assets to a third party. That way another company can step up and become a carrier themselves, ensuring that the wireless landscape stays competitive. Who will that third party be? It looks like DISH Network is ready to step up.
Reuters recently reported that private equity group Apollo Global Management was in talks with DISH Network to finance a bid for the T-Mobile and Sprint wireless assets. While no official number has been released, the rumour is that the sale is slated to go for about $6 billion.
This would be an incredibly positive move for DISH Network. Remember, DISH is sitting on billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum, which they are required to use before the looming FCC deadline or they risk forfeiting it all. By purchasing all these wireless assets DISH would be able to utilize that Spectrum by building out their own 5G network.
If all of this purchase does happen, it would all but guarantee that the T-Mobile/Sprint merger moves forward. It would also put DISH in the position of directly competing with other wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T.
There is another scenario where DISH buys the assets, but does not use them to create a wireless network that mobile devices can utilize. In this scenario, DISH would create a 5G network designed to offer internet services to those in more rural areas. This would then position the company to transition into the mobile network space down the line if it makes sense.
No one can say for sure how this is going to turn out, however it is becoming increasingly clear that big changes are coming to the communications space. What role will DISH Network play in these changes? Only time will tell.