Dish Eyeing Bid for T-Mobile, After Failed Sprint Offer: Report

Dish Network is considering launching a takeover bid for T-Mobile in 2014, as the satcaster looks to put its considerable wireless spectrum holdings into action, Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources.

The move would come after Dish lost out in its offer for Sprint earlier this year to Japanese telcom operator Softbank. Meanwhile, Sprint itself is mulling a bid for T-Mobile, according to a Wall Street Journal report last week.

Dish chairman Charlie Ergen, on the company’s Q3 earnings call last month, was asked about the prospect of Dish acquiring T-Mobile. The exec did not rule out the idea, responding, “I think acquiring a company, selling our company, merging, partnering — those are all part of the ‘optionality’ we have.”

Ergen also said a Dish buildout of the spectrum or a sale of the spectrum were not “high probability,” saying the more likely strategy it pursues will be some kind of partnership.

In another wrinkle, Dish and Sprint on Tuesday announced a partnership to jointly develop and deploy a fixed-wireless broadband service, in Corpus Christi, Texas, that will be available in mid-2014 on a trial basis. The companies said that depending on a customer’s location, Dish will install either a “ruggedized” outdoor router or an indoor receiver to receive the 4G signal on Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum.

Dish has spent more than $3 billion since 2008 acquiring wireless spectrum rights, which could be used for broadband Internet service.

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