Dish Network To Offer Mobile TV Service?

This story was written by Dianne See Morrison.
Analysts have been abuzz with speculation over Dish Network Corp's surprise win at the government auction for wireless airwaves that ended this week, speculating that the satellite television company formerly known as Echostar (NSDQ: DISH) Communications could eventually launch a mobile television service, according to Reuters. The company bid some $711 million for a block of licenses with one-way communication capability that covers nearly the entire country.

Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) quotes Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Clement saying the spectrum is best suited for broadcast, adding, "The assumption you'd make is that they'd set up some sort of mobile TV service." In a note that agreed with Clement's speculation, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet said the company would probably have to spend an additional $3-$5 billion to build a wireless video network. He also noted that in a February annual filing, Dish had said they might "expand into mobile and portable video, data and voice services." But other analysts weren't so sure of the mobile TV speculation. Kaufman Bros. analyst Todd Mitchell mused that Dish Network CEO Charles Ergen may just be sitting on "a limited resource that one way or another was likely to increase in value."

Dish Network's SEC 8-K filing on their recent winning bid is here.

By Dianne See Morrison