US satellite TV provider DISH Network has said that it does not expect to be able to launch its proposed Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-Advanced) network using its allocation of 40MHz S-Band spectrum until at least 2016. According to Fierce Wireless, this tentative timeline means that DISH’s plans fall outside of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) proposed schedule, which requires it to launch within three years, covering 30% of the US population. That said, DISH has indicated that when it does launch its network, it will cover 60% of US citizens. In an FCC filing, DISH has provided details of its deployment plans, and argues that the watchdog’s buildout requirements are not feasible or in line with similar requirements for terrestrial wireless services.
The FCC, which approved DISH’s acquisition of S-Band satellite spectrum from bankrupt satellite smartphone operator TerreStar (July 2011) and hybrid satellite and comms company DBSD North America (February 2011), has so far denied the company’s request for a waiver to allow it to build a terrestrial wireless network – effectively leaving the firm in LTE limbo. Initial comments on the proceedings were due on 17 May, with replies expected on 1 June. The watchdog is expected to make its decision sometime after that.