Since T-Mobile USA and Dish are periphery players in their own industries, what if they merged to really try to shake up the communications sector with disruptive offerings? I think Charlie Ergen mentioned something about T-Mobile before the AT&T deal fell through, but I don’t know in what context he wanted them. He’s got all that spectrum he purchased over the last couple of years from bankrupt firms.
But I wouldn’t want the combined company to be just another mobile operator (I’m guessing they’d spinoff the satellite tv business). Instead, I wonder if the combined company could essentially become a “virtual” cable operator in the sky. They’d upgrade the network to provide LTE service. But in addition to that, they’d offer tv service on your phone and in your home. But not just any tv service. We’ve got enough of that. While they probably couldn’t (wouldn’t ?) offer channels a la carte, I envision the tv offering being somewhere between that and the usual cable type plans. Dish doesn’t really have a whole lot of incentive to continuing towing the company line spun by the media companies. Dish instead could sell the media companies on offering a new type of service that might capture new customers for those content providers.
With the advancement of technology, is it possible that this network could essentially work as mobile broadband? We’d be able to slip a T-Mobile/Dish card into our laptop/desktop/other devices, etc and hook to the broadband network. Or perhaps this doesn’t work unless broadcast spectrum is part of the equation. Maybe there are technical hurdles to combining a mobile network and satellite provider to offer one, vast, fast network. Otherwise it would have already been done. But the way I see it, such a company could be a rival to both MSOs and mobile operators. T-Mobile USA and Dish don’t have a lot to lose.