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Ergen: Cable Could Be ‘Serious’ Wireless Competitor

Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said cable’s recent moves in wireless could position the industry to be a serious competitor, but added it likely wouldn’t have an impact on his company.

Cable operators began testing the wireless waters again last month when Comcast started talks with Verizon about the MVNO provision as part of its 2011 sale of wireless spectrum via the cable consortium SpectrumCo. Verizon said in October that operators had approached it to invoke the MVNO agreement. Later in the month Comcast said it would take at least six months after activating the agreement before a product could be released. Comcast wouldn’t give any hints to what that product could be, although several pundits have said it will likely be a Wi-Fi-first wireless offering.

“I think the cable industry is potentially poised to be a serious competitor in the wireless industry,” said Ergen, speaking on a conference call with analysts and reporters to discuss third quarter results. “They certainly have the ability to to put their toe in the water.”

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