Dish Weighing ‘Opportunity’ in Fixed Wireless for Rural US, Says Ergen
With Dish Network’s “spectrum portfolio” and “our rural roots,” there’s “certainly an opportunity” for the company to play in “fixed wireless in rural America,” said Chairman Charlie Ergen on a Q1 earnings call Friday. “We’re watching closely what T-Mobile and Verizon are doing,” he said. “I think it’s very creative in terms of what they’re doing. I think there’s maybe other ways to do it, depending on where you are and the densities you have.” Dish thinks the 12 GHz band, flexible use of which is being considered in an FCC rulemaking, is “the ideal frequency” for fixed wireless, said Ergen. “We’re hopeful the FCC will make some rulings on that,” he said. “In a funny sort of way,” there may be more “upside” to fixed wireless than “the belief you have in linear TV,” he said. Dish lost about 228,000 satellite TV subscribers in Q1, said CEO Erik Carlson on the call. “We still remain focused on acquiring and maintaining long-term, profitable customers, and we continue to play where we’re strongest, in rural America, with higher-credit-quality subscribers,” he said. Dish has an Analyst Day event scheduled for Tuesday in Las Vegas, its first 5G commercial deployment (see 2205040057).