Dish 5G Network - Not all smoke and mirrors

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To be fair, this isn’t the first announcement DISH has made. They have made a bunch of announcements of partnerships. Not sure how they are going to be able to afford all these partnerships unless their mobile division really ramps up. Looks like bankruptcy might be in their future IMHO (especially if the economy goes South).

To be fair, the only dollar figure I’ve seen attached to any of DISH’s announced partnerships is the $5 billion one attached to its network services agreement with AT&T and I believe that’s not a lump sum but paid out over the life of the agreement.

DISH is something of a conundrum. On the one hand, they’ve been bleeding subscribers at both DISH TV and Boost Mobile. On the other hand, their Sling TV streaming service added enough subscribers this past quarter to more than offset the losses at DISH TV (a better performance than the market expected). Generally, based on its recent announcement of 3rd quarter results, DISH’s financial performance has improved in 2021 as compared to 2020.

I’ll be blunt, I have no idea whether DISH Wireless will be wildly successful, fail miserably or something in between. I do think, however, it’s premature to be talking about potential bankruptcy. DISH is sitting on a whole bunch of wireless spectrum that, if not DISH, someone would be interested in buying and putting to use.

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As you may have noted the source of this announcement was not DISH … it was Cisco. Full disclosure … I spent my final 15 years of work life at Cisco and have a bit of faith in their announcements and the directions they take.

If DISH hadn’t expanded operations beyond their original concept, bankruptcy chances may have been even greater in time. We’ll eventually learn if they are biting off more than they can chew with their audacious moves. But it has historically been audacity that tends to produce spectacular success. Of course, there has always been the potential for spectacular failure as well.

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Like him or not, Charlie Ergen makes big bets. Historically, he’s won more than he’s lost.

I see some parallels with Apple’s Steve Jobs. It may seem hard to believe now but in the mid 90s prior to Jobs’ return; far from being the behemoth it is today, Apple was routinely referred to as beleaguered and presumed headed for bankruptcy and dissolution. One Micheal Dell once said of Apple:

Shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

By no means am I saying DISH is remotely close to bankruptcy or will be the next Apple. But, one never knows where events will end up.

Frankly, we should all be rooting for DISH’s success and not merely because of Republic. More competition in the wireless market is a good thing. The market would be significantly more consumer friendly with a successful 4th facilities based carrier.


Man am I out of date on my Republic Wireless knowledge! Didn’t know Dish now owns RW.

“Under the terms of the 10-year deal, AT&T will provide voice, data, messaging services to customers of Dish-owned mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) Boost Mobile, Ting and Republic Wireless.”