The Wireless Pulse 9th Edition

January’s attendees are comprised of various telecom executives working across the national wireless real estate spectrum.
Dish and Where They Are At:

1.      Dish is still finding their way, albeit slow but doing so efficiently.

2.      Their delays are caused mostly by utility companies, permits and equipment shortages.

3.      As a cost saving measure, Dish is building their own equipment cabinets. A major pivot from the other carriers.

4.      Dish’s efficiency is helping their build accelerate. They’re doing a good job executing documents, approvals and completing leases. They have been diligent in watching costs and managing processes.

5.      One major differentiator Dish has over the other carriers is their Premises is 85% the size of the Big 3. Their equipment is more compact, resulting in significant cap/ex spending/savings.

6.      Even though Dish’s network build is robust, it’s still unknown who their customer base will be comprised of. Is it consumers or businesses? Time will tell.

7.      Las Vegas is Dish’s beta test market. A successful launch there will determine Dish’s future. Meanwhile, they are replicating the same systems in other densely populated US markets. Look for Detroit to be their secondary market launch. All carriers want their systems humming in the Motor City. Reason being the interrelationship between vehicles and Wi-Fi capability is key to full US 5G deployment.

8.      Dish was lucky to start their build when equipment and labor was plentiful and inexpensive. Times have changed and equipment cost increases and a severe labor shortage will cost them plenty.

9.      Dish will probably miss their required 20% coverage in June 2022. It’s estimated they have 1,000 sites broadcasting. The Fed is expected to look the other way so long as they can demonstrate they are trying to catch up. Might even make deadlines in their launch markets.

10.  Amazon Wireless Services, (AWS) owns the network infrastructure and Dish is buying/providing their own equipment. No other carrier has built a network from scratch this way.

11.  AWS and Dish’s relationship is being held close to the vest. Is AWS an anchor partner or looking to acquire Dish…

Other Cellular World News:

1.      Telecom’s Achilles heel is a serious labor shortage. These are not high school graduate jobs. The skilled labor pool isn’t enough to meet demand. Moreover, workers expect to be paid a premium regardless of qualifications.

2.      Supply chain is so bad, 6-to-9-month delivery from order, require contractors to make multiple trips to sites as components arrive compressing profits.

3.      To exacerbate the situation, carriers are demanding costs to go down, while labor costs rise, crushing contractors profit margins.

4.      Equipment and labor shortages notwithstanding, we believe the issues will start to normalize Q4 2022.

5.      Irish Tower recently merged with Apex, demonstrating the velocity of M & A’s in the telecom space.

6.      IOT’s or Internet of Things is a rapidly growing space where a system is needed for a specific task or solution. For example, the US Department of Forestry completed deployment of 300 devices in Northern California for the express purpose of sniffing the air every two seconds. If smoke is detected, it alerts them of a possible fire in a given vicinity. The applications for individual systems in limitless. Who knew we would be where we are at this juncture?