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Possible Plan B for T-Mobile? Dish needs a partner

Dish CEO Joseph Clayton tells Bloomberg that he is interested in a partnership with T-Mobile USA if the AT&T deal falls through.

If T-Mobile USA doesn't end up with AT&T, Dish Network is waiting in the wings.


Dish is interested in a partnership with T-Mobile, pooling together their collective wireless spectrum to create a stronger competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Dish CEO Joseph Clayton said in an interview with Bloomberg.

It's one of a number of alternative options that T-Mobile could pursue if the AT&T deal falls through.

T-Mobile's primary justification for its merger with AT&T is the lack of spectrum and parent Deutsche Telekom AG's reluctance to put more money into the business.

Dish, meanwhile, has quietly amassed its own war chest of spectrum, scooping up assets as part of the $2.78 billion takeover of bankrupt DBSD North America and Terrestar Networks. That spectrum could conceivably power T-Mobile's 4G LTE plans. The satellite television provider has been an opponent of the AT&T deal.

AT&T and the Justice Department today asked the federal court to delay the legal proceedings while it evaluates their options.

Dish said it has plans to build out its 4G LTE network with the spectrum, which would allow it to deliver mobile video to complement its core service. But the value of its spectrum just moved up a notch with Verizon Wireless acquiring the cable companies' spectrum for $3.6 billion, giving the other carriers fewer alternatives to go after.