Dish Network got some good news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allowing the satellite services company to use its AWS-4 spectrum bands to create its own wireless network.
"The FCC has removed outdated regulations and granted terrestrial flexibility for most of the AWS-4 band," said Jeff Blum, Dish senior vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last month expressed support for Dish's wireless network bid, but with a number of restrictions that would have significantly hindered the network's effectiveness.
The restrictions were said to prevent Dish's spectrum from interfering with H Block spectrum - airwaves Sprint was petitioning the FCC to allow for its own wireless network use.
A new wireless network
Curiously, earlier this month reports surfaced that Dish and Sprint were in talks to offer a collaborative mobile service.
While neither company would comment on it at this time, it's possible those talks involved Dish striking a deal with Sprint by offering to license some of its AWS-4 spectrum bands in order to get FCC approval without the proposed restrictions.
Now that Dish Network can use its spectrum for a wireless network, the question turns to what the company will do with it. According to Blum, we won't have solid answers anytime soon.
"Following a more thorough review of the order and its technical details, DISH will consider its strategic options and the optimal approach to put this spectrum to use for the benefit of consumers," he said via the statement.
A deal with Sprint certainly seems like an option, with talks already underway between the firms. Dish was also reportedly in talks with Google earlier this year about starting a new wireless network.
Now that Dish has FCC approval out the way, the hard part of actually building a wireless network - and taking on big boys like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint - can begin.
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