Dish Network is interested in a potential takeover of rival mobile operator UScellular.
As first reported by Telecompetitor, Dish founder and chairman of the board, Charles Ergen, has identified a takeover as an opportunity for the company.
He made the comments shortly after confirming Dish Network's merger with satellite communications vendor EchoStar earlier this week.
Last week, UScellular and its parent company Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) revealed plans to “explore strategic alternatives” for their wireless business.
“The TDS board believes that now is the right time for a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives for UScellular. We will pursue the pathway that is in the best interest of shareholders,” said Walter Carlson, TDS chairman, in a statement.
During a conference call confirming the re-merger with EchoStar, Dish was asked about the likelihood of a bid for USCellular. In response, Dish Network EVP of corporate development, Tom Cullen, noted the potential.
“Clearly they have towers and they have spectrum, and they operate in geographies that we haven’t fully built out, so it would be something that we’d be interested in looking at."
UScellular is the fifth-largest carrier in the US, and is estimated to have close to five million customers across the country.
Dish hit its 5G broadband coverage target in June to cover 70 percent of the US population.