Dish Network Corp's (DISH.O) shares declined on Thursday after the satellite television provider's quarterly results missed analysts' estimates, and its chief executive declined to give specifics on merger discussions, saying that the company was focused on building its new wireless network.
Dish has been buying up wireless airwaves, or spectrum, in recent years as its satellite business has come under pressure from cable as well as cheaper streaming options. Analysts have long thought the holdings could make Dish a natural fit for a tie-up with wireless carriers such as Verizon Communications (VZ.N) or T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O).
But the company is pursuing its own plan of putting the airwaves that it has acquired to use. Dish plans to build a low-cost wireless network by 2020 to meet the U.S. government's deadline for deploying some of the spectrum. Dish said on the company's post-earnings conference call that it was negotiating contracts with vendors and having discussions with tower companies and other partners.
Chief Executive Charlie Ergen said it was realistic to assume that Dish would need help in the second stage of a network build-out as standards for a next-generation wireless network, or 5G, evolve. 5G is expected to offer faster speeds and shorter response times.