Welcome!

News Feed Item

Fitch: DISH Play for Clearwire Could Cause Sprint Some Static

The evolution of DISH Network Corporation's (DISH) wireless strategy took a step forward Tuesday, as evidenced by the company's proposal to enter into a multifaceted, complicated series of agreements with Clearwire Corporation. In accordance with the terms of DISH's proposal, DISH would acquire, among other things, approximately 24% of Clearwire's wireless spectrum for $2.2 billion. Fitch Ratings believes the proposed transaction is a positive development for DISH, but could also pressure its current ratings.

If the bid for Clearwire is successful, DISH would secure a potential partner to build and deploy a wireless network. DISH had previously signaled its preference to participate in a network infrastructure-sharing arrangement to enter into the wireless market as opposed to deploying a greenfield wireless network. However, recent consolidation, investments, and spectrum acquisitions within the wireless sector have reduced the number of potential entities DISH can partner with to deploy its wireless network creating an urgency to establish a partnership with Clearwire. DISH's proposal leverages Clearwire's expertise and existing assets to construct, operate, and manage a wireless network utilizing DISH's AWS-4 spectrum and the 2.5 GHz spectrum acquired through the proposed transaction.

The wireless spectrum enables DISH to diversify its business and add mobility to its fixed video service model while positioning the company to capture incremental revenue and cash flow growth. DISH believes the competitive forces within the mature video-programming distribution market may diminish the value of the company's existing direct-broadcast satellite infrastructure. Most notable among these competitive forces are the emergence of cloud-based services and the migration to Internet protocol-based video content delivery.

A proposed alliance with DISH and Clearwire would clearly be a negative for Sprint, absent any considerations on whether or not the DISH offer is valid. A successful alliance would mean Sprint would no longer have sole control of strategic direction of Clearwire assets, and competing interests for how Clearwire's network is deployed would ensue. DISH proposes to acquire at least 25% of Clearwire's outstanding common stock, which along with the governance provisions outlined in DISH's proposal, sets the foundation for DISH to influence Clearwire's strategic direction. The DISH Clearwire alliance would also impact the long-term strategic plans of Sprint/Softbank to differentiate its broadband offering by virtue of the "fattest wireless pipe" potentially in the industry to provide the bandwidth required for Sprint's unlimited plans.

DISH's purchase of approximately one-quarter of Clearwire's total spectrum position, likely representing a significant portion of Clearwire's more valuable wholly owned BRS spectrum, would also be negative for Sprint, as they would lose control of a valuable long-term asset. About 60% of Clearwire's spectrum is leased while 40% is owned.

A DISH/Clearwire alliance would also enable a new competitor access to deep spectrum resources that would be considered a negative longer-term for Sprint revenue, cash flow, and profitability. Considering Sprint's position as the third largest operator, this would weigh materially more on Sprint versus Verizon or AT&T.

We believe the incremental capital and operating costs related to DISH's potential wireless network build out will diminish the company's ability to generate free cash flow and erode operating margins, potentially resulting in a weaker credit profile. We believe business risk inherent in launching a wireless business limits the flexibility DISH has to increase leverage at the current rating level to accommodate the incremental capital costs and EBITDA erosion associated with the build out of a wireless network.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com.

The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article, which may include hyperlinks to companies and current ratings, can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Most organizations prioritize data security only after their data has already been compromised. Proactive prevention is important, but how can you accomplish that on a small budget? Learn how the cloud, combined with a defense and in-depth approach, creates efficiencies by transferring and assigning risk. Security requires a multi-defense approach, and an in-house team may only be able to cherry pick from the essential components. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Vlad Friedman, CEO/Founder o...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
"We view the cloud not really as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.