Satellite firm DISHes up Google tie-up speculation

16 Nov 2012

According to the Wall Street Journal, search engine giant Google Inc has held talks with satellite TV provider DISH Network in recent weeks regarding a potential mobile network joint venture. Citing people familiar with the discussions, the WSJ notes that the talks between the two parties are not yet at an advanced stage, and may not amount to anything. However, Google is just one of several companies that DISH has held talks with recently, and the discussions with other potential partners are also at an exploratory stage. In an interview this week DISH chairman Charlie Ergen declined to comment on Google specifically, but said some of the potential partners include companies ‘who would like to be in the industry’ but do not currently have a wireless business.

In May this year DISH indicated 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. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved DISH’s acquisition of S-Band satellite spectrum from bankrupt satellite smartphone operator TerreStar in July 2011 and hybrid satellite and communications company DBSD North America (February 2011).