Dish Network announced that it is raising approximately $ 4 billion to pay for the company’s spectrum and general expenses through a senior ticket offering to institutional investors.
The offer is facilitated in the form of a business-to-business loan with Dish DBS Corporation. Dish stated that the loan will be secured by the cash proceeds of the loan and an interest in any wireless spectrum licenses acquired using that product.
“The net proceeds of the offering are intended to be used to provide a business-to-business loan to Dish Network to fund the potential purchase of wireless spectrum licenses and for general corporate purposes, including the construction of a wireless infrastructure, âthe company said in a statement. Press release.
What does all of this mean in terms of what Dish is up to? âThat doesn’t mean much at the moment, as Dish can still raise more money after the auction closes,â said Roger Entner, director of Recon Analytics, referring to the band spectrum auction. average in the United States. “We shouldn’t be reading too much into that number. They’ll spend it on spectrum and on building the network, but it’s unclear what the split is.”
Dish is one of the qualified bidders in the 110-345 GHz auction currently underway at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). So far, this auction has raised over $ 21 billion in gross revenue this morning.
Collectively, Dish has spent a lot on spectrum, but during the C-Band auction Dish spent less than $ 3 million to secure a single license in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it is doing 5G trials.
It is certainly plausible that the $ 4 billion raised is for the 3.45 GHz spectrum. New Street Research analysts said they didn’t think Dish needed outside funding for the network at this time; he finished the third quarter with $ 2.3 billion in cash and spoke of a build over the next 12 months of less than $ 2 billion, according to New Street analyst Jonathan Chaplin in a note to investors today.
When Dish pulled out of the C-band auction, “we assumed it was because they were rotating at 3.45 GHz,” Chaplin wrote. âWe will be relieved if they get large stakes in 3.45 GHz. This is important for their strategic positioning and their cost advantage. The satellite dish has 19 MHz of CBRS which is great, but 18 MHz-40 MHz of 3.45 GHz in addition to CBRS would be better.
What exactly Dish gets in the 3.45 GHz range is unlikely to be known for at least a month, as auction rules prohibit disclosing who is bidding for what until the auction is closed and the results are released by the FCC. New Street analysts expect the clock phase of the 110 auction to end by the end of this week, with the award phase ending in early December and results reported in mid-December. . Companies do not need to make a down payment on their spectrum until at least January 7, 2022, due to special rules for this auction, they noted.
Dish, which is building a 5G network from the ground up based on virtualization and open radio access network (RAN) technology, is in beta test mode in Las Vegas, where it plans to continue operating through the 90’s. next days. Its launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
RELATED: Dish’s Dave Mayo Talks ‘Bold’ Efforts To Deploy An All-New 5G Network
In its third quarter conference call last Thursday, Dish management said it has building permits in two-thirds of the sites it needs to build for to meet 2022 requirements, and that it is now present. in 42 markets with construction activity. Dish plans to start building in the new year in the markets that are expected to be covered in 2023.