FCC chairman would sign off on Dish Network's bid to become a wireless carrier under one condition

FCC chairman would sign off on Dish Network's bid to become a wireless carrier under one condition
It is no secret that Dish Network's Chairman, Charlie Egren, has a had a goal for some time to have his company become a wireless carrier. The company owns some spectrum, but has been unable to start up the business because of fears that its frequencies would cause interference with other networks.To get around this, Dish has even considered making a move on MetroPCS as recently as August, and the satellite content provider has been linked to rumored deals as well, including one with Google.

The Dish Network executive must have been happy to hear that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made some comments in a speech that supports Egren's goal for his company. Genachowski said in a speech that the FCC's rejection of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger and other moves it made have improved the competitive position of the wireless market, which was close to a duopoly according to the FCC Chairman.

The good news for Dish is that Genachowski is willing to sign off on the papers required for Dish to enter the wireless business. There is one condition, though, and it is sure not to put a smile on Charlie Egren's face. The FCC Chairman wants Dish to lower its power levels to avoid interference with other networks. Egren says that this would prevent Dish from becoming competitive as a mobile operator.

If this story sounds familiar, it is because LightSquared had the same problem with its proposed network interfering with GPS signals used by the military and FAA. LightSquared never received a license to operate and the company is trying to get back on its feet after a bankruptcy filing. Luckily for Dish, it has its other business providing television content via satellite. But Egren still wants to make a go of it in the wireless industry, saying that it will need a partner to build out its pipeline, and that it could be completed by 2015. He notes that Dish Network has $6 billion to spend on creating a new wireless carrier, but adds that the FCC could make it risky for them to proceed.

The FCC will vote by the end of the year on whether or not to auction of some spectrum that will be used in conjunction with first responders. FCC Spokesman Neil Grace says that if approved, it would help add competition to the industry and unlock billions of dollars of value for consumers.

source: WashingtonPost via Phonescoop

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