The Rumor About Dish and Amazon
Back in May, reports surfaced that Dish and Amazon were in talks that would position the online retailer as a “foundational customer” of the expanded network Dish plans to serve the IoT.
The Wall Street Journal has reported Dish (Nasdaq: DISH) and Seattle-based Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) are talking about creating a partnership that would allow Amazon to be a financial resource for a Dish-built “internet of things” network, or one that would allow Amazon Prime customers a dedicated mobile service plan.
The Journal added that people familiar with this topic are saying that nothing is imminent and that the prospect of Amazon acquiring Dish is not on the table.
With the significant piece of unused spectrum that Dish Network has, the clock is ticking for Dish to put its airwaves to use one way or another. FCC rules stipulate that the satellite-TV provider must achieve 40% signal coverage on the 700 MHz E-Block licenses it purchased in 2008 by the end of the month, or reach a 70% buildout by March 2020. The need to meet the FCC’s buildout requirements is why the company announced plans to build a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network, which then prompted the talks between Amazon and Dish.
But we’ve heard these whispers of Dish partnerships before. Two years ago, T-Mobile was viewed as Dish’s most likely M&A candidate. And this past February, several analysts were saying that Verizon had emerged as Dish’s best option.
And yet, other analysts are unconvinced that Dish even wants to build a network from the ground up. Possibly they are just biding their time as they consider other ways to cash in their spectrum.