Report: Verizon "very interested" in Dish's spectrum

The NY Post reports Verizon (VZ -0.3%) is eying Dish's (DISH +3.3%) high-frequency spectrum, estimated by analysts to be worth as much as $17B. One source states early, informal talks have been held.

Dish has been looking for a partner for its spectrum, which is particularly useful for handling 4G traffic in high-density urban areas. After Dish's Sprint bid was thwarted last year, Charlie Ergen has said he's open to a T-Mobile deal. But Sprint and T-Mobile are now eying a merger of their own (regulators permitting).

Verizon has been dealing with a 4G capacity crunch in many big metro areas; the carrier is responding by rolling out 4G in the high-frequency AWS band. Buying Dish's spectrum would give Verizon more long-term headroom.

Regulators probably wouldn't object to a deal, given Sprint and T-Mobile each have considerable high-frequency spectrum. But with Verizon having $110B in debt following the Vodafone deal, balance sheet concerns could get in the way.

The AT&T/DirecTV deal fueled speculation Verizon will make a bid to fully acquire Dish. But Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam quickly shot down the idea.

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Comments (5)
  • Hank890
    , contributor
    Comments (2269) | Send Message
    Dish and Verizon can come to an agreement on price without increasing V's debt levels above 2013 peak. BTW, it is not worth anywhere near 17 B.
    20 Jun 2014, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Brad Kenagy
    , contributor
    Comments (2976) | Send Message
    There is a limited supply of spectrum though, so yes it could be worth $17 billion.
    20 Jun 2014, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • crazty4tennis
    , contributor
    Comments (1258) | Send Message
    I agree that Dish isn't worth 17B and Verizon should think very carefully about increasing their debt load.
    20 Jun 2014, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • Seth Walters
    , contributor
    Comments (675) | Send Message
    If the spectrum is owned in perpetuity and the value of something is equal to the value of future cashflow, the spectrum would appear to have a very high value indeed.
    20 Jun 2014, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • Royce Ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
    Adding a satellite network to its radio network appears to make a lot of sense at any reasonable price, even if at a premium. Several years ago Verizon got rid of its copper wires buried in the ground, which now looks like a no-brainer. It just seems that using satellites suspended in air will or could make more sense than radio antennae hanging on poles stuck in the ground. Inflation, demand for services, etc. will mostly likely cover any premium paid.
    22 Jun 2014, 02:46 PM Reply Like
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