Satellite TV provider Dish Network eyes LTE network

24 Aug 2011

According to PCworld.com, US satellite TV provider Dish Network has set its sights on rolling out a cellular network using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Dish has requested permission from telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow it to transfer the frequencies attached to bankrupt satellite mobile operator TerreStar to a Dish subsidiary, therefore enabling it to build out a standalone wireless network of its own. Dish acquired the ill-fated satellite smartphone operator for USD1.375 billion in July 2011. TerreStar, which was widely coveted for its 20MHz frequencies in the 2GHz spectrum band, declared itself bankrupt in October 2010 after accruing more than USD1 billion in debt.

Dish reportedly intends to combine the frequencies with spectrum that it acquired in a separate USD1 billion deal to buy hybrid satellite and communications company DBSD North America in February this year. However, the pay-TV provider needs special permission from the FCC to offer a standalone cellular service, as opposed to an integrated satellite service. Dish’s FCC filing reportedly reads: ‘The requirement to make every device dual-mode severely limits a provider’s ability to enter into arrangements with multiple device and equipment manufacturers, thereby limiting consumer choice and severely impairing the business case economics. Today, a mobile voice and data provider’s ability to attract customers depends in large measure on its ability to provide its customers with the types of devices that best suit their needs’.

United States