FCC Approves License Transfer to Dish Network

On March 2, the International Bureau of the FCC approved the transfer of licenses from DBSD Satellite Services and TerreStar License, Inc. to Dish Network Corp. The licenses include gateway earth stations, earth terminals and ancillary terrestrial components (ATC).  Dish Network had acquired the two satellite companies out of bankruptcy. Read more

AT&T and Dish: Rumor or Cage Rattling?

According to Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger, a seven-page FCC exparte AT&T penned may be a strong indicator of the carrier’s interest in buying up the 40Mhz S-band spectrum currently controlled by Dish Network.

After separate bankruptcy proceedings last year, Dish Network now holds DBSD North America, Inc. and TerreStar Networks, Inc. and their satellite spectrum licenses. Dish recently petitioned the FCC for an ancillary terrestrial component waiver that it says it will use to provide a wireless-hybrid 4G LTE network. Read more

Dish Makes Another Bid

TerreStar Networks Inc. has selected Dish Network Corp. as the opening bidder in a pending bankruptcy-court auction. Dish Network has the “stalking-horse bid” of $1.375 billion for the mobile-communications business, according to court papers filed on June 15.

Dish is offering cash, and the proceeds from the sale would pay off all $1.1 billion of TerreStar’s secured debt. According to sources at TerreStar, the Dish’s bid is $150 million greater that the assets TerreStar listed in its December 2010 disclosure..

Dish will receive a $27.5 million breakup fee should TerreStar sell itself to another company. Other suitors must top the offer by at least $55.5 million to outbid Dish—a sum of Dish’s breakup fee and other expenses.

The final deadline to submit bids is set for June 27, with the auction to take place June 30. In addition, any sale must be approved by the FCC.

Charlie Ergen, chairman of both EchoStar and Dish Network, has made several strategic moves to accumulate wireless spectrum and satellite capacity, including an offer to purchase satellite services company DBSD North America which owns about 20 Megahertz of S-band wireless spectrum. TerreStar Networks also counts among its assets a 20-MHz bock of S-band spectrum.

TerreStar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in October 2010.

Report: AT&T May Acquire Dish Network, Echostar

Late last week Credit Suisse released a report speculating that the time may be right for AT&T to acquire Dish Network, the No. 2 satellite service video provider.

In the last few weeks, Charlie Ergen, chairman of both EchoStar and Dish Network, has made several strategic moves to accumulate wireless spectrum and satellite capacity.  Dish Network extended an offer to purchase satellite services company DBSD North America. DBSD controls about 20 Megahertz of S-band wireless spectrum. EchoStar also is said to be in a leading position among the debtholders of TerreStar Networks, which also owns a 20-MHz bock of S-band spectrum. And just this morning it was reported the Echostar has agreed to acquire Hughes Communications.

If Ergen can seize control of TerreStar, the companies’ combined broadband spectrum would be very appealing to a wireless operator such as AT&T. The New York Times has more:

According to the Credit Suisse report, AT&T could pay more than $20 billion for Dish Network and EchoStar — representing a 70% premium for the pair. For AT&T, a Dish acquisition makes strategic sense for three reasons, the report said: the valuable spectrum, significant synergies and the potential earnings growth. Read more

Dish, LightSquared Vie for Spectrum through Acquisitions

In a move to acquire additional wireless spectrum, Dish Network extended an offer to purchase satellite services company DBSD North America. Per terms of the deal, Dish Networks will provide $87.5 million of debtor-in-possession financing as DBSD exits bankruptcy.

DBDS, a subsidiary of ICO Global Communications, has been in bankruptcy protection since May 2009. The company is developing a system that combines both satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities for wireless voice, data and Internet services. In April 2008, the firm launched its ICO G1 satellite, touting interactive mobile video, navigation and emergency assistance solutions. Content partners included NBC Universal, MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting System and Discovery Networks.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan will hear details of the Dish/DBSD agreement on February 15 and will have the final say about who will be allowed to acquire DBSD. After that, the transaction also has to be approved by the FCC. Read more