Ergen: No Plans for Wireless Spectrum, Now - Broadcasting & Cable

Ergen: No Plans for Wireless Spectrum, Now

But Dish chief says wireless has strategic value
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Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said that the satellite giant has no current plans for the wireless spectrum it has been trying to amass over the past few months, but added that it has value as both a straight investment and as a strategic play.

Dish made an offer to purchase 20 Megahertz of S-band wireless spectrum from bankrupt DBSD earlier this month for $1 billion. Former affilaite EchoStar Corp., of which Ergen also is chairman, is said to be in a leading position among creditors of TerreStar Networks, which owns another 20 MHz block of S-band frequencies. EchoStar also made an offer for Hughes Communications, which operates satellite broadband provider Hughes Network Systems, on Feb. 14 for $1.3 billion. While none of these deals have been finalized, analysts have speculated that Ergen could use it to create his own wireless broadband offering.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss fourth quarter financial results Ergen said that he has no current plans for the frequencies.

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