DISH Network gets approval from FCC to build out its LTE-Advanced cellular network

Posted on Dec 12 2012 - 1:41pm by Mike Wewerka

DISH Network is now one step closer to building out its own LTE network. Today, the FCC approved the Satellite TV provider’s bid to build an advanced LTE network with 40MHz spectrum (2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz) they already own. Because building a cellular network is costly, DISH will need a partner with another company in order to see its network come to fruition, like Sprint, T-Mobile, or most likely, Google. Google has already been rumored to have begun talks with DISH to build a “data only” network. This is the most likely scenario, as DISH’s network will be a faster LTE-Advanced network, meaning it will be faster than any previous LTE network, which will be perfect for a data only, VoIP network and Google Talk/Voice.

Before you get too excited, don’t expect this network to just “pop” up, DISH estimates that it would begin to rollout its network by 2016, and quite possibly late in that year, almost 4 years from now. Within that four year, DISH believes that it can cover 60 million points of presence, or potential users. The FCC has stated that as part of the approval, DISH must have 70% of their network built out within 7 years.

There is one small snag, DISH will have to give up some spectrum to avoid some interference, the good news however, is that DISH won’t run into the same legal headaches as Lightsquared and their failed attempts to start an LTE network. So with the approval cleared and out of the way, it’s time to begin looking at partners.

Jeff Blum, DISH’s Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel said “DISH will consider its strategic options and the optimal approach to put this spectrum to use for the benefit of consumers.”

Kind of a vague statement, but it does make it clear that they are looking for someone to help bring this new, faster LTE network to people as quickly as possible.

Who’s ready for an even faster LTE network?