This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Can Dish Blow Up the Spectrum Market?

I have written about wireless telephony for many years now, and this claim of spectrum's inherent value and scarcity is a con. It takes billions of dollars of investment to make spectrum valuable, to produce a service with a nationwide footprint. This is over and above the cost of buying the spectrum from the government. It's supposed to be public property, not private.

Meanwhile, a WiFi system just requires radios that transmit on the licensed frequencies. Current standards let you create a 100 Mbps network in the comfort of your own home for about $60. That's 10 times the bandwidth commonly available 10 years ago.

Also, innovation continues inside WiFi. This week Sonos delivered new speakers that integrate with all your music sources through WiFi, notes TheVerge.

There are many things equipment makers have done over these 10 years to make this happen. They have improved encoding technologies. They have gotten more spectrum, in higher frequency bands, and combined the bands for use by their equipment. Lower-power radios mean smaller cells and more re-use. It's much more efficient to make these improvements from the network edge than at its center. That's another way of saying it's a lot cheaper to buy a new WiFi router than upgrade a nationwide network.

This is a truth of the market; it's science and economics. Ergen is threatening to make this plain to everyone unless someone lets him in on the oligopoly, unless he's given a seat at the table. Google, Microsoft and the makers of WiFi routers all plan to point this out as the FCC proposal moves forward.

But you already know.

At the time of publication the author had a position in MSFT and GOOG.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CLWR $0.00 0.00%
DISH $41.55 0.00%
GOOG $683.11 0.00%
MSFT $49.69 0.00%
S $2.55 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,660.18 -254.56 -1.60%
S&P 500 1,829.08 -22.78 -1.23%
NASDAQ 4,266.8370 -16.7550 -0.39%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs