Dish interested in T-Mobile partnership, possibly Sprint too

Dish Network Corp., the second largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, is seeking to partner with T-Mobile USA if AT&T Inc.’s takeover bid fails, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Clayton told Bloomberg News.

Dish, which acquired wireless spectrum earlier this year as part of deals for bankrupt DBSD North America Inc. and Terrestar Networks Inc., could merge its spectrum assets with T-Mobile to create a strengthened competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, said Clayton. T-Mobile needs additional spectrum to offer higher-speed wireless service for smartphones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Dish could also partner with a company other than T-Mobile, such as Overland Park-based Sprint Nextel Corp., Clayton said.

Dish is interested in buying assets from AT&T and T-Mobile if the companies divest customers and spectrum to address regulatory concerns over the merger, Clayton said. Dish has publicly opposed the T-Mobile acquisition, saying it hurts competition.

“We’re not interested in making money on selling our spectrum,” said Clayton in the interview. “We want to use it to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data. We’ve got expertise in satellite-TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part, we’ll need some help with.”