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Report: Dish, Google discussing wireless network

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 3:01pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Google and Dish Network have reportedly been in talks recently about teaming up on a wireless service, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cited people familiar with the matter. The report notes that the talks were, at least for Google, "exploratory" in nature and could amount to nothing.

Dish Network has been awaiting approval of new rules that would allow it to deploy an LTE Advanced wireless network on its 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum.

The company made some progress toward that goal this week when the 3GPP approved new technical specifications that will allow Dish the necessary technical blueprints needed to design and build everything from cell phone chipsets to broadband networks.

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen has been vocal about how any further delays in the FCC's approval process will affect his company's plans to put the spectrum to use.

At the PCIA conference in October, Ergen said he was disappointed at how long it has taken the FCC to act on the matter. Ergen argued that further delays caused by acceptance of Sprint's proposals would hurt Dish's ability to compete with operators like AT&T and Verizon Wireless and said the company may be forced to sell the spectrum if it takes any longer.

Ergen also said that it "doesn't really make sense any more" for Dish to build its wireless network from scratch, and that it would instead look to partner with an existing operator on its build-out. Clearwire has been rumored as a potential partner for Dish Network, but Ergen gave no clue back in October as to whether a deal was imminent.

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