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Dish Considering Spectrum Purchase

Englewood, Colo. – Dish Network subsidiary Dish DBS plans to issue bonds for general corporate purposes that “may include spectrum-related strategic transactions,” the company announced.

Dish declined to say whether it plans to buy terrestrial wireless spectrum to bolster the capacity of a planned wireless voice and broadband network that its plans to build in spectrum previously set aside for satellite communications.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved Dish’s proposal to repurpose 2GHz satellite spectrum for a terrestrial voice and broadband network but with restrictions that Dish previously opposed.

The FCC proposed the restrictions to reduce interference with a nearby communications band, and at the time,  Dish contended the restrictions would disable 25 percent of its planned uplink spectrum and “impair” another 25 percent “to accommodate possible future use of neighboring H Block [1900MHz] spectrum by Sprint.” That 5MHz of spectrum is currently unused, and Sprint has expressed an interest in purchasing it, Dish said at the time.

After the FCC issued its decision, Dish said the commission “has taken an important step toward facilitating wireless competition and innovation,” but Dish also said that “following a more thorough review of the order and its technical details, Dish will consider its strategic options and the optimal approach to put this spectrum to use for the benefit of consumers.”