Ergen on DISH Wireless Plans

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Dish Networks Chairman Charlie Ergen pointed out that DISH’s new 5G network will be a greenfield network and should not be evaluated in the same way as an incumbent’s network. He said DISH’s network would cost less than other carriers’ networks because DISH plans to use next-generation technology, which relies much more on software than on expensive, proprietary hardware. “The cost structure goes down,” he said. “The vast majority of capex for the incumbents is not for 5G, it’s to maintain the legacy. We don’t have that cost going forward.” Ergen thinks it will cost about $10 billion to build out a new wireless network. Analyst Craig Moffett with Moffett Nathanson has scoffed at the figure, pointing out that Verizon spends $15 billion per year just to maintain its existing network. So will Ergebn use his own money to “backstop” Dish’s wireless offering? “I have liquidity,” he says. 

Ergen says capital cost of Dish Wireless can’t be compared to incumbents