Looks like Dish is gearing up to make some moves with its massive trove of spectrum.
The company recently revealed a plan to raise $1 billion through the sale of convertible notes for strategic transactions including “wireless and spectrum-related strategic transactions” among other things.
Dish said the offer opened on March 10, and the notes represent unsecured obligations on the part of the company. The interest rate, the initial conversion rate, and other terms and conditions of the notes will be determined by negotiations between Dish and the purchasers of the notes, the company said.
The notes will mature on March 15, 2024, with interest paid annually on March 15 and September 15. The issue and sale of the notes is expected to wrap up at the end of this week, Dish indicated.
The move to raise money for wireless and spectrum ventures comes just days after Dish in a filing with the FCC committed to meeting the Commission’s accelerated March 2020 buildout requirement. That includes construction of a 5G/NB-IoT network using its AWS-4 and Lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses.
Dish said in the filing its plan is currently to build out the network on its own, or possibly in cooperation with its subsidiaries Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless. Despite this, BTIG’s Walter Piecyk speculated Dish’s future plays could still involve an incumbent wireless partner.
“While IoT could certainty be a material opportunity for Dish, we still believe the best use of this spectrum is to be used in the existing network of a wireless operator,” Piecyk wrote. “Dish’s spectrum provides a low-cost and sizable capacity supplement for data growth on smartphones and new IoT revenue opportunities as operators embark on their attempt to deploy hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small cells that have a radius of 200 ft, (including the ones with HPUE).”
And Dish itself admitted in the filing this is a possibility, noting it is also “open to exploring joint build partnerships that could reduce overall network deployments costs for Dish and other operators who may be upgrading or deploying their own networks in the same time frame.”
We’ll have to wait and see.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)