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Update: Dish Network’s Spectrum Holdings from the AWS-3 Auction

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Dish discussed spectrum won in the AWS-3 auction

In a previous part of the series, we learned about some expectations of T-Mobile (TMUS) from a potential acquirer or partner. We also learned that Dish Network (DISH) and T-Mobile were going through some potential merger or acquisition talks. Dish Network is a satellite TV provider, and it holds significant wireless spectrum holdings in the United States.

On October 1, 2015, Dish Network discussed the status of the AWS-3 (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum holdings it had won through two designated entities in an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) auction. These entities are Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless.

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According to Dish’s press release citing R. Stanton Dodge, the company’s general counsel and executive vice president, “Northstar Wireless is expected to be granted licenses with aggregate gross winning bids of $5.62 billion.” The release also stated, “The licenses retained by the FCC have aggregate gross winning bids of $2.2 billion.”

The press release said, “SNR Wireless is expected to be granted licenses with aggregate gross winning bids of $4.27 billion.” It also said that “the licenses retained by the FCC have aggregate gross winning bids of $1.2 billion.”

Top winners, by total spectrum price, in the AWS-3 auction

In the FCC AWS-3 spectrum auction, Dish won spectrum holdings with the second-highest worth, before discounts, through the two designated entities mentioned. AT&T (T) won the holdings worth the highest amount. Verizon (VZ) followed Dish.

Dish won spectrum holdings worth ~$13.3 billion before discounts. AT&T won spectrum holdings worth ~$18.2 billion. Verizon won mid-band spectrum holdings worth ~$10.4 billion.

You may wish to take a diversified exposure to Dish by investing in PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ). The ETF held ~0.3% in the company at the end of August 2015.

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