Dish Network Corp. (DISH:US) will sell its spectrum if current plans to find a partner to create a wireless network don’t work, Chairman Charles Ergen said.
Dish has “billions of dollars of spectrum” that could become available, Ergen said yesterday at a conference in Dana Point, California hosted by AllThingsD.
The company is seeking to create a wireless network that can deliver video, voice and data to its customers, Ergen said. A network is essential to Dish’s plans to deliver video to its satellite television subscribers both inside and outside the home, he said. Dish is offering $3.30 a share for a minority stake in wireless carrier Clearwire Corp (CLWR:US).
“We would admit we failed and try a new approach,” Ergen said, if efforts to partner with a wireless company aren’t effective. “We would hang a ‘for sale’ sign on the spectrum.”
Dish (DISH:US), based in Englewood, Colorado, rose 1.5 percent to $37.66 in New York. The stock (DISH:US) has climbed 3.5 percent this year, trailing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 6.5 percent gain.
Dish’s offer is good for Clearwire’s shareholders, Ergen said. Dish is competing with Sprint Nextel Corp. (S:US), which offered $2.97 a share for the portion of the wireless company it doesn’t already own (CLWR:US).
“It’s not an illusory offer,” Ergen said. “We’re serious about it. Our offer is good for shareholders. Sprint will have to do more to keep us out.”
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