Ergen: Dish Doesn’t Need a Partner to Build Wireless Network

Says company can meet 2020 deadline on its own

Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen reiterated his commitment to build out the majority of its wireless network by the prescribed federal deadline, adding that the satellite TV company doesn’t need a partner to do so.

That’s a bit of a departure from Ergen’s earlier stance a few years ago, when he said it didn’t make sense to start the buildout without a strategic partner to help shoulder the cost. 

Dish has until March 2020 to build out 70% of its wireless network. And while Ergen said it was more than willing to go it alone, there is ample time to find a cohort.

“Our focus today is to build out to meet the 2020 deadline with or without a partner,” Ergen said on a conference call with analysts to discuss first quarter results. “We’re prepared to do it within our balance sheet and again, it’s going to be a new, narrowband IP network that doesn’t exist today. Obviously, I hope there is the opportunity in the next three years for a lot of potential partnerships.”

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