Dish Network’s new device chief sees opportunities, not challenges | Light Reading

Dish Network’s new device chief sees opportunities, not challenges | Light Reading

Paul Chapple is Dish Network’s newest SVP, and his job will be to obtain phones and other devices that support the company’s vast spectrum holdings.

This task, Chapple told Light Reading, is more of an opportunity than a challenge.

“It’s really familiar territory for me,” he said.

Chapple started his career at Nokia and then bounced among other handset makers, including HTC and Samsung. He moved over to the network operator side of the business in 2017 to manage T-Mobile US’ smartphone procurements.

He explained that T-Mobile at that time faced many of the same challenges that Dish Network faces today in terms of obtaining suitable devices for its new 600MHz spectrum licenses.

“We were really the only ones asking for it,” Chapple said of his 600MHz efforts at T-Mobile. “I’m making similar calls to similar people now.”

After his stint at T-Mobile, Chapple moved to London to head up smartphone procurement for Vodafone Group for just under two years. Sixteen days ago he started at Dish Network, having relocated from London to Denver for the job.

“Denver weather is kind of wonderful compared with Syracuse, New York,” Chapple said of where he grew up.

Chapple declined to comment on the details of his work at Dish, citing both his newcomer status and the confidential nature of his work. He said he’s in conversations with both device makers and silicon suppliers to ensure Dish’s vast and diverse spectrum holdings will be supported in future devices.

“Now that I’m here, we’re actually going to start buying this stuff,” he said.

Indeed, the financial analysts at LightShed Partners recently predicted that Apple would support Dish’s spectrum bands in its next iPhone, following Dish’s agreement with Qualcomm last year.

“While Apple could certainly opt out of including Dish’s Band 70 when it introduces its next iPhone later this year, we believe it will embrace the new entrant, given the importance of Dish to the connectivity market in the United States,” the analysts wrote.

But Chapple said it’s the devices beyond smartphones that he’s personally excited about, a nod toward Dish’s emphasis on the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “That’s going to be a really fun part of my job,” he said.

Chapple will be reporting to John Swieringa, Dish’s EVP and group president for retail wireless.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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