Dish Network, the second largest U.S. satellite-TV provider after DirecTV, may partner with T-Mobile USA if AT&T’s takeover bid fails, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Clayton said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Dish Network owns 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2 GHz band that it wants to use. Earlier this year Dish wrote a letter to the FCC (pdf) asking them for permission to build the network. Dish could merge the spectrum assets with T-Mobile to create a strengthened competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, said Clayton.
One scenario is for Dish and a partner such as T-Mobile to combine their wireless assets into a new company, Clayton said. Dish could also team up with Sprint Nextel or Clearwire Corp., he said. Any deal would require approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Dish Network apparently plans to use a 2x 20 MHz configuration (20MHz up and 20MHz down), with potential speeds of over 600 Mbps. That’s double the bandwidth of Verizons 2 X 10MHz LTE system. LTE-Advanced features advanced modulation and MIMO antenna techniques to improve coverage and speed.
Dish CEO Joseph Clayton said earlier this month that the company would be open to wireless partnerships.
“We’re not interested in making money on selling our spectrum,” said Clayton in the interview. “We want to use it to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data. We’ve got expertise in satellite-TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part, we’ll need some help with.”
Dish Networks also owns EchoStar, which is buying HughesNet for satellite broadband. Echostar’s HughesNet JUPITER satellite will be the mirror image of ViaSat-1, which began offering satellite internet access this week offering 12-megabit-per-second broadband for $50 a month in Colorado.
Both WildBlue’s ViaSat-1 and Dish Network’s Jupiter are expected to provide satellite internet access up to 10 Mbps in the United States in the later half of 2012. Dish Network has some 14 million satellite tv subcribers while DirecTV has 19 million subscribers.
Dish Networks also bought Blockbuster, which should give them lots of streaming content, in competition to Netflix, RedBox, and others.
According to Bloomberg, Dish may buy assets from AT&T and T-Mobile if the companies divest customers and spectrum to address regulatory concerns over the merger, Clayton said. Dish has publicly opposed the T- Mobile acquisition, saying it hurts competition.
“We feel if the AT&T-T-Mobile deal goes through, we win,” he said. “If it doesn’t go through, we still win.”
The entire federal government now views LightSquared about as favorably as an envelope full of anthrax, says satphone analyst Tim Farrar. That may leave a space for Dish to step in.
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