July 9 Dish Network Corp said it plans
to take part in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's
large sale of low-frequency airwaves planned for mid-2015,
according to a filing disclosed on Wednesday.
Dish's Chairman Charlie Ergen and other executives met with
the FCC's Chairman Tom Wheeler, four commissioners and numerous
wireless officials on Monday, giving the most explicit pledge so
far by the satellite TV provider to "meaningfully participate"
in the so-called "incentive" auction.
"The incentive auction offers opportunities for competitive
providers and new entrants to bid on and win much-needed lowband
spectrum, which will facilitate the deployment of mobile
broadband services," Dish Senior Vice President Jeffrey Blum
wrote in the filing.
Ergen, Blum and other Dish representatives also reiterated
their plan to bid in the smaller AWS-3 spectrum auction
scheduled to begin Nov. 13, where Dish is expected to be one of
the main participants.
Investors have been watching for any signs of what Ergen
plans to do with the spectrum Dish has spent billions amassing.
Potential plans may include a partnership with another broadband
player to build a wireless network. Dish shares have risen
nearly 60 percent to $65.70 over the past 12 months mainly
thanks to investors' high hopes for the value of the company's
In FCC meetings, Dish also repeated its recent criticism of
the proposed mergers between two large U.S. cable providers
Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, and
between No. 2 wireless carrier AT&T Inc and Dish's main
satellite rival DirecTV.
"The pending Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger presents
serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video
marketplaces and therefore should be denied," Blum wrote.
It did not argue for the rejection of the AT&T/DirecTV
merger but said it also presented such competitive concerns in
the increasingly changing pay-TV and broadband industries.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh in Toronto; Additional reporting by
Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)