dish wireless cell site

As Dish looks to enter the wireless business, one Wall Street firm is reporting the company may be eyeing TDS for acquisition. The main motivation for any Dish acquisition of TDS would be US Cellular.

TDS is the parent company of both US Cellular and TDS Telecom. US Cellular is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. US Cellular could provide Dish with significant wireless assets as it looks to build a nationwide 5G network.

Dish is currently building out its network and will need to rely on a roaming agreement with T-Mobile for broader coverage. The report from Wall Street firm Citi suggests that Dish buying TDS would lessen reliance on the T-Mobile network, especially in smaller markets, and may actually be a cheaper option.

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At the end of 2020, US Cellular counted 4.4 million postpaid subscribers and close to 500K prepaid. The company is located at 6,797 cell sites and owns and operates 4,271 towers. US Cellular also has broad spectrum holdings including millimeter wave, CBRS, and C-Band.

Like most wireless carriers, US Cellular is embarking on its own 5G buildout. The carrier reports 5G was available to 24% of all its cell sites at the end of 2020.

Citi also suggests that if Dish acquires TDS it may look to sell off TDS’ wireline broadband operations, both fiber and cable, which could hold a lot of value, creating monetization strategies for Dish.

Dish is already acquiring wireless assets beyond the wireless asset cache it received when T-Mobile acquired Sprint. It recently acquired Republic Wireless and previously acquired Ting Mobile.

A Dish acquisition of TDS could be a significant investment. Both US Cellular and TDS are publicly traded companies, although TDS has a controlling share of US Cellular. Based on share price, US Cellular currently has a market cap of close to $3 billion, while TDS has a market cap of $2.3 billion — which suggests that buying TDS could be the best means of gaining control of US Cellular.

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4 thoughts on “Report: Dish May Be Eyeing TDS for Acquisition

  1. Dish would not gain much of anything here in Oklahoma with a US Cellular acquisition. US Cellular does not even serve the entire state with native coverage, and in the western half of the state, the vast majority of their coverage is only 3G. For any carrier in 2021, that is just unacceptable.

  2. I thought Dish announced to the world it was building out its own 5G network from the ground up, emphasis on “building”. Seems like they are already falling back on the old way of buying up others and doing nothing more than piecemealing their solution together.

  3. Plus the fact that the law prohibits any DBS company to purchase a cable company which is what TDS is. Then again AT&T should not of been able to purchase Direct TV, but did. Why is the FCC and Congress? What a joke this country has become, like the wild wild west again! Who needs laws anymore since they are not enforced.

  4. I think it be good for dish maker them a bigger player and hope that the states that us cellular wireless has coverage in get the states with more expansion in other Area I live in Huntington West Virginia in US cellular has coverage on the east side of the state no coverage on the other side West side no coverage

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