AT&T/Leap Deal Boosts Dish Spectrum Value

AT&T’s agreement to acquire wireless player Leap Wireless (opens in new tab) in a deal valued at about $1.2 billion has some analysts recalculating the value of wireless assets held by satellite TV giant Dish Network.

In a research note Tuesday, Credit Suisse media analyst Michael Senno estimated the AT&T deal values Leap’s spectrum at about $150 per subscriber, a price that implies a $1.10 per Megahertz point-of presence (MHz POP). Factoring in a 5% discount for Dish’s S-band spectrum to account for lower demand given recent deals, Senno wrote the new transaction implies a $1.05 per MHz POP for Dish’s wireless licenses (up from 80 cents previously), raising their overall value to $12.4 billion.

Senno still believes that Dish, which abandoned its bid to acquire additional spectrum from Sprint and Clearwire last month, could attempt to acquire a former AT&T target – T-Mobile—or it could pursue a combination with AT&T itself.

“…we still see [AT&T] as a possible buyer of the spectrum, or the company,” Senno wrote of Dish Network. “Dish could also pursue a spectrum sharing deal.”

However, the analyst wrote that he was skeptical that Dish could pursue a combination with the nation’s largest satellite TV service provider – DirecTV – adding that he did not believe such a combination possible under the current Federal Communication Commission regime.