Connectivity Wireless CEO Stephen Bye, who was featured in a recent issue of Connected Real Estate Magazine is leaving to assume the Chief Commercial Officer role at DISH.
“Stephen shares our vision for the transformative power our 5G network will deliver to consumers and enterprises of all types,” DISH Co-Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a release. “He will play a critical role in developing and commercializing innovative and disruptive applications built around our unique capabilities like network slicing, flexible capacity management and massive connectivity.”
“We know Bye and believe he is one of the top wireless visionaries in the space,” Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in a statement. “He has strong views on spectrum and network design. In our view, he will be a significant asset to DISH as it forms its forward looking wireless strategy.
Bye’s hiring is an indicator that DISH is serious about its push into the wireless field, according Wells Fargo analysts. DISH also hired Marc Rouanne as its Chief Network Officee. Rouanne held senior roles at companies such as Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and Mobile Networks. He has a lot of experience in the software and open radio access network (O-RAN) space, which Wells Fargo believes will be critical to its 5G build out strategy.
“There isn’t a pattern for the kind of network we are building in the United States and we need the best people in the world to make our vision of a virtualized standalone 5G broadband network a reality,” Ergen said. “Marc and Stephen will help lead our work to redefine the American wireless landscape to the benefit of consumers.”
These two hires would be significant on their own as they pertain to DISH’s wireless ambitions. According to Wells Fargo however, they could have a bigger impact on the wireless industry as a whole. As DISH becomes more credible in the wireless field, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger becomes more of a reality because the company’s presence could ease concerns about a lack of competitive balance.
“We call these two hires out because we do believe it adds more credibility to the DISH wireless story,” Wells Fargo’s analyst team said in a statement. “While we do not actively follow DISH, the ‘realness’ around its wireless story is key to getting the Sprint-T-Mobile merger approved in our view. In our view, a key concern with the State AG’s fighting the merger is four national wireless players going to three will create a more difficult pricing environment for the consumer. As DISH builds out its wireless bench and depth of talent, we believe they will offer a more tangible plan of build out, which could lessen these concerns.”