Dish: Launching Wireless Service by 2015 is a “Bit Optimistic”

Tue, 08/20/2013 - 10:50am
Ben Munson

Dish Network had hoped to deploy a wireless network by 2015, but with the way things have gone for the satellite provider so far, that may not be in the cards.

The Hill reports that Dish general counsel R. Stanton Dodge, speaking at the Technology Policy Institute’s annual conference, said Dish had eyed 2015 for breaking into the wireless market but in light of how the company’s wireless ambitions have played out to date, called that timetable a “bit optimistic.”

Still, Dodge maintained that Dish is “dead serious” about deploying a wireless network and not only competing with the likes of AT&T and Verizon, but “eat[ing] their lunch.”

Dodge added that before Dish can launch a network, it needs to acquire more spectrum.

Dish already owns AWS-4 spectrum licenses, upon which the FCC granted it permission to deploy a terrestrial network. But Dish has been active in trying bolster its spectrum portfolio. However, the company lost out to Sprint in a bidding war for Clearwire to its access to its vast quantities of 2.5 GHz spectrum.

More recently, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has been moving to snap up LightSquared, billionaire Philip Falcone’s bankrupt wireless endeavor. LightSquared had intended to deploy a nationwide LTE network on its spectrum holdings but the FCC blocked those plans out of fear the network would interfere with GPS signals.

Falcone has been fighting to keep LightSquared. He is currently suing Ergen, saying the rival billionaire has been secretly buying up debt from LightSquared in order to seize control of the flailing company and its spectrum assets.



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