Seems RBC visited CLWR headquarters Monday August 8th, and yet they were mighty quiet about the purpose and/or what was discussed. No comments, although yesterday Bloomberg also covered the DISH story where the same RBC analyst was quoted: "Most home Internet users typically don’t notice a difference in speed beyond 25 to 50 megabits, according to Jonathan Atkin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in New York." Why was he a go to guy for a story on DISH?
A late September early October date was mentioned in the story:
"Dish expects to formally offer the service in late September or early October, mainly to subscribers in rural areas who may not have access to cable broadband, two of the people said. Bob Toevs, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish, declined to comment."
Those dates sort of line up with remarks by CLWR CEO Prusch and CFO Hope Cochran.
The synergy between satellite TV and a BB frequency operator is based on achieving a wider spectrum of services than either single entity: Satellite providing the wide area coverage of space-based signaling while the CW's range-bound spectrum provides the depth of bandwidth coverage needed. In theory the ~2GHz and 2.6GHz marriage makes good technical sense.
Think about how the commercial aspects of competing work out as a war: The major alliances, call them the nation of HSPA/GSM, CDMA/EVDO, and open IP communications, respectively heralding the flags (standards) of 3GPP, 3GPP2, and IEEE (Wi-Fi & WiMAX), have been preparing to do battle for several years; amassing or troops, arms and capital so they can defend their borders and capture new territory. Along comes a rising set of nations that have mixed allegiances; they have one foot in the mobile groups and one foot in the open IP camp. They think they have an advantage because their raw resources will be increasingly vital to all. However, what they do not have are the arms, large populations of participants (skilled employees and subscribers) that equal the entrenched camps. What do they do? Partner. Who with? With those who have the battle pieces that they lack and, likely, most can benefit from their key strengths.
DISH has very worthwhile spectrum, capital and a primarily satellite TV base of subscribers as battle pieces. Their ~2GHz spectrum is good for satellite use and is otherwise fair for rural to good for suburban terrestrial service networks. Clearwire's 2.6GHz span is poor for rural, fair for suburban, and great for use in progressively more densely deployed networks of the future.
DISH and other's task is to both put together the battle pieces between partners or acquired assets that look good on paper but also that look good when compared to the entrenched warring nations who have amassed huge armies, capital and "beach front property spectrum", the lower frequency bands, that might be considered as the '4G beach head landing zones' from which they plan to advance their armies to dominate the entire landscape.
What can go wrong: The big factor that can go wrong is for satellite ops to sell out to the other side before waging more than a token battle. Ergen/DISH and DTV may just do that-figuring that the armies amassed against them combined with weak 'nations' with depleted wealth and stretched-thin armaments can never be a match against the great BORG Empire.
Or they may go ahead half-heartily and fail due to lack of competitiveness in the market. Like Clearwire with WiMAX, their product may not be 'good enough' to rally the market to their defense and taking of new territory to the extent needed to gain strength for fire storms of the next and next battles on the horizon.
Or it could be that several of the small nations, each with leaders who are somewhat like the Lilliputians.. big endians and little endians divided over aspects of their worlds that end up being comical epitaphs on their grave stones. "Here rests the prideful metroPCS, champion of their world .. for a short time... killed at the hands of the dictators (the megalithic industry leaders)"... because they failed to seek strength in numbers.
This 'war' is more bifurcated than most real wars in that enemies on one level can often be allies in a different battlefront. Satellite companies have done deals over content and marketing arrangements with the large mobile operators even though that is at odds with mobile guys growing alliances with cable. And its very likely the two sides will do BB roaming and collaborate in areas such as mobile payments and devices. Nonetheless, it ultimately boils down to war to gain the wallets/pocketbooks of customers.
Ergen has said they need a MOBILE partner w/Clearwire as an urban wholesale partner.