Towers to Benefit When Dish Deploys

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Jonathan Schildkraut of Evercore ISI attended the Dish Network investor meeting hosted by the Evercore ISI Cable, Satellite & Media Analyst Vijay Jayant. Schildkraut noted that they walked away with few new details, but did explain how the firm thought towers would benefit when dish deployed their spectrum. “In our view, the deployment of Dish’s spectrum is a ‘when,’ and not an ‘if.’ And, as we highlighted in our June 1 Evercore Telecom Newsletter lead “Updated Tower Thoughts – Tower Trends vs. Thematics,” we believe Dish’s search for a wireless Chief Marketing Officer highlights that the decision around timing could happen as soon as the next 12-18 months. Further, the use of a partner in placing spectrum into use would accelerate the time to revs recognition for tower operators (Mr. Ergen said it would be most capital efficient to deploy all its spectrum simultaneously), though we acknowledged it would be less impactful than a full network build-out.” Schildkraut also reported that it’s more likely Dish would partner with T-Mobile rather than Sprint, if they chose the partner route at all. “As is fairly well known, prior to Softbank’s acquisition of Sprint, Dish and Sprint came close to developing a partnership. In describing the arrangement that almost came to pass, Mr. Ergen highlighted a difference in opinion as to the opportunities around 2.5GHz spectrum (Dish thought less of the 2.5GHz spectrum than Sprint) as well as lack of clear network plan from Sprint. In discussing T-Mobile, Mr. Ergen highlighted that company’s simpler network design, more common spectrum bands, and already dense network (‘it’s dense where it exists, but needs to exist in more places’).”

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