Satellite TV provider Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) seems increasingly certain that it will partner with an existing mobile carrier as it looks to pursue its mobile broadband ambitions. The company has been hoping for either a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to help it leverage its MSS spectrum for its mobile network plans, or else a completion of the current FCC rulemaking on the matter.
Dish chief Charlie Ergen conceded this week that Dish like will need a carrier partner if it wants to keep pace in a mobile broadband market that is quickly evolving to LTE, according to a Denver Post report.
The MSS waiver, which would allow mobile handsets to use the spectrum without linking to a satellite, or new MSS rules, may not come until the end of this year. Building a mobile broadband network using MSS spectrum and following the satellite link-up rule would be too costly. The rulemaking, announced early in the year, seemed to buoy Dish's plans for an aggressive move into the LTE network arena, but the inertia since has left Dish weighing its options.
There long has been speculation that Dish could partner with a carrier such as Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) or T-Mobile USA to help it advance in mobile broadband, though Dish itself also has hinted it could go it alone in mobile broadband.
- check out this Denver Post report
Analysts thought the FCC rulemaking would help Dish
Dish said it has $5.6 billion to fund its wireless moves