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Unread 2012-11-15, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Google ....the Wireless Carrier? | PROJECT Fi |

Google wants to be a wireless carrier







Google (GOOG) has already conquered the software side of smartphones and now the technology giant is reportedly in talks to take over the air waves. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Google has held talks with satellite television provider Dish Network (DISH) regarding the possibility of a venture that would see Google launch its own cellular network and compete directly with the likes of Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). The Journal says the talks are not in advanced stages and could lead nowhere, though Dish did confirm that it is discussing the launch of a new cellular network with a number of potential partners ”who would like to be in the industry.”
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Unread 2012-11-16, 12:35 AM   #2
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They should have grabbed up Sprint.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 01:30 AM   #3
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Even if they do I'll probably stay on AT&T lol.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 01:36 AM   #4
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cellular service..... with Dish network? what?
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Unread 2012-11-16, 03:14 PM   #5
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[Updated] WSJ Reports Google And Dish Network Have Had Talks Discussing Possible Wireless Service



If you thought Google Fiber sounded like a game changer, you may want to keep an eye on this story. According to the Wall Street Journal, which has a history of having well-placed sources, Google has held talks with Dish Network discussing the possibility of partnering on a wireless carrier to compete with AT&T, Verizon, and all the rest. At first, it sounds like a pipe dream. The kind we've been hoping for since the G1. Thing is, this time, it has a shot of not being complete bupkis.
Before we get into why this might be true, though, let's take a look at why it might be false: for starters, according to WSJ's own sources, the talks are not very advanced and "could amount to nothing." Keep in mind companies talk to each other all the time without releasing products. And, even if they do, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be good. Remember the last time that Google and Dish, a long with a host of their buddies, got on stage to announce a revolutionary new product? Yeah, so far it hasn't gone so well. Also, Google isn't the only company Dish is talking to, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Update: According to 9to5Google, talks are a little more advanced than the WSJ's source made it sound. According to the site, here's how it might look:
Google plans to make the service data-only with voice and SMS only being used as VoIP services, likely with Google Voice.
It's also said that the service will rollout mid-late 2013. This is all unconfirmed as of yet, but if the source is reliable, then it might be a bit more likely that it will happen than we initially thought. Still, grain of salt and all that. We now return you to your regularly scheduled analysis/speculation.
Well, Let's Get Ahead Of Ourselves A Bit
For starters, whether it's with Google or not, Dish getting involved in the wireless game in some way or another is something that needs to happen. It's going to happen. Why? Because it owns a decent amount of spectrum that is going completely unused. You know how the big carriers talk about a spectrum shortage? Well, as it turns out, there is about 538MHz worth of wireless spectrum that is currently licensed out to U.S. operators. Of that amount, only about 192MHz is actually being used, and of that amount, about 90% is allocated to existing 2G, 3G, or 3.5G networks on the major wireless carriers. (These numbers circa a late 2011 report by Citigroup. They may have changed a bit since then, but the principle stands.)
There is still a huge amount of spectrum that is currently unused, either because companies that own the licenses haven't made plans to rollout networks (as is the case for Dish), or are underfunded like Clearwire (well, prior to the Sprint acquisition which still needs to be finalized) and LightSquared. It's imperative that these companies either build out networks or sell off their holdings. Preferably the former, since none of us are too keen on giving too much wireless power to a single, or even small group of companies.
So, What About Google?

Does it make sense for Dish to partner with the Mountain View company, though? Well, that's where things get a bit more iffy. Google definitely has reason to want to be in the ISP business. In fact, it already is. If you live in Kansas or Missouri, you can already see the benefits of this type of business venture. Also, it's no secret that Google isn't exactly pleased with the model for selling smartphones to consumers these days and knows it can be better. That's half the point of the Nexus program.
Trouble is, as much as Google would like to, it really doesn't have much experience or assets in the wireless ISP business. The company certainly has the engineering brainpower and capital to be a very attractive partner, but if Dish and Google team up, then a substantial network of towers needs to be built from the ground up. That's a long, arduous road in a race that both companies are already severely behind in.
According to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, while he's in talks with companies "who would like to be in the industry" but aren't already, it would be easier to partner with a company that already has wireless infrastructure to build off of.
That's all without getting into how this might affect Google's position in the Android world. Carriers are already a very sore spot for the platform. They delay updates, they block certain services, and they ruin brand names. They're also entirely necessary. While the Nexus 4 may be sold out right now, the unlocked Nexus phone line is, historically, not a huge seller. Google may simply not have the market force to start competing with its partners without alienating them at the same time. Granted, this would only affect the U.S., and Android operates in tons of countries worldwide, but it's also Mountain View's home turf.
In short, could it happen? Maybe! Does Google want it to happen? Absolutely. Will it happen? That is not nearly so certain. There is a lot going against this.
On A Scale Of 1-10, How Excited Should I Be?
I'd say a solid 4. Google is the kind of company to shoot for overly ambitious projects, and ever since Larry Page returned to the helm, there's been a solid "Screw it, let's do it ourselves. It will be awesome" mentality. Then again, ambition was never Google's problem. It's feasibility. The company needs to prove it can enter a very capital-intensive field with the gusto to get things done fast, in a competitive way, and without pissing off everyone in the process.
However, regardless of what happens with Google, you should still be a little excited. Dish has plenty of spectrum that simply has to be used, one way or another. Back in May, T-Mobile and MetroPCS separately filed petitions to the FCC, requesting that Dish be forced to give up some of its holdings. Now it's looking more and more like the latter two companies will be one and the same a year from now. Maybe the new mega-T-Mobile would make a good partner for an LTE network?
Either way, the wireless landscape is being shaken up quite a bit. For the last few years, it's been AT&T, Verizon, then everyone else. We would, of course, love to see a Google-branded carrier show up on U.S. soil, but even if we don't, Sprint is being acquired by a Japanese company and hopefully alleviating some of its financial woes, T-Mobile and MetroPCS are joining forces to compete with the larger carriers, and Dish has spectrum to throw at the most eligible suitor in town. Things are going to get interesting over the next few years no matter what happens.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 03:30 PM   #6
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I see it as nothing but good. I don't think Google would make it enough to really impact the other big carriers too much but it would save Dish TV and create a ton of jobs.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 03:38 PM   #7
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They should have grabbed up Sprint.
One reason Sprint is lagging is because of their overworked, and well behind the standard, network. It would cost a lot of money and their network isnt worth that much.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 09:33 PM   #8
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Get them cheap, fix it up. Profit.

Sprint still offers unlimited data while every other carrier is sucking their customers dry on data packages.
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Unread 2012-11-16, 09:35 PM   #9
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Get them cheap, fix it up. Profit.

Sprint still offers unlimited data while every other carrier is sucking their customers dry on data packages.
Tmo doesn't plus Sprint is getting bought by the Chinese no telling where/how that will change them
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Unread 2012-11-16, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Tmo doesn't plus Sprint is getting bought by the Chinese no telling where/how that will change them
Softbank is Japanese. And they're a great carrier in Japan.

If they bring their mindset here, we'll be in good shape, IMO.

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Unread 2012-11-17, 02:23 AM   #11
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Softbank is Japanese. And they're a great carrier in Japan.

If they bring their mindset here, we'll be in good shape, IMO.

oops


One can only hope for optimism for Sprint since they neglect their own network and equipment for so long
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Unread 2012-11-17, 09:45 AM   #12
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Unread 2012-11-17, 10:00 PM   #13
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What Would Google Wireless Look Like; And What Problems Would Lie Ahead?



When the news broke that Google might well be working towards becoming a Wireless Carrier there was a whole lot of excitement floating around at the prospect of being able to have truly unadulterated access to Google’s services wherever. I can say that I’d certainly enjoy using a Wireless Carrier that doesn’t restrict what I do with the data allowance I pay for and does away with the crazy subsidy model that is so prevalent in the US. I’m sure a great many of you feel the same and we could all do with a better Wireless Industry in the US.
As good as this all sounds, Google aren’t going to sail into the position of being a carrier and even they were to get through all that red tape, there’s no telling quite how Google will act when they have Google Wireless under their arm as well. Google have made it quite clear over the last few years that they’re not impressed with the current state of the Wireless industry as well as their stance on net Neutrality as well. From these we can draw some predictions on just how Google might act as a carrier and what they might have to overcome to get there.
Competition is A Brilliant Thing

As a Brit, the US Wireless Industry is insane to me. I’ve been following it for some time now and now that I’m here, writing for a US website I’m learnt more about the Wireless Industry in the US and it seems even crazier than it did a few years ago. Here in the UK I can take my phone to whichever carrier I so choose, through the wonders of GSM, and I get cheaper and faster home broadband into the home. I’m not bashing the US industry here, hell, the States is the only place to go for true 4G! But, the reason why we have it a little better than it is in the States is because of competition. A long time ago, British Telecom held the keys to everything when it came to home broadband but the Government ordered them to unbundle their wires and years later I can go and get Internet from tens of different sources.
It’s not quite the same when it comes to Wireless but, GSM is something that makes more sense when it comes to a free and open landscape and the fact that I can go ahead and go to any carrier I want with my phone makes O2, Vodafone et al work harder to keep for another 2 years and another 2 years after that. If Google were to get in the game, it would shake things up no end, as a lot of people look to Google as “the Internet” and more and more people want to get access to the net on the go so, where do you get your wireless data from? Well, why not the company that is “the Internet”? Such a household name bringing unlimited Data will make AT&T and Verizon work even harder for your hard earned dollars and unfortunately, could wipe out Sprint and T-Mobile altogether.
All That Red Tape…

While Monopolies have had an easier ride in the last few years, there’s still some concern that having too much invested in one area might become a bad thing for the economy, we saw the T-Mobile and AT&T merger fall through for the same reason. While Google might be somewhat of a dark horse here, I don’t think the FTC are going to be thrilled with a company that is pretty much 90% of the Internet as well as a company that owns on of America’s last handset manufacturers to become a Wireless Carrier as well. Even that might be too much for the regulators as Google are already in the spotlight for their complete control over Search and I wonder how much more they’ll be willing to put up with.
If, somehow, Google were to get through the Red Tape then what would happen to the rest of the industry, how long do you think it’d be before we saw any real chance from Verizon or AT&T?
So, What Would Google Wireless Be Like?

We’re all ready and waiting to tell Google to “shut up and take our money” but I wonder what the company would be like if they had control of their own wirless carrier? Well, for one, I think they’d be keen to get rid of the strange contract/subsidy model that is going on right now and ask customers to put more up front the hardware but in the long run, your wallet will be thanking you. It’s not a secret that when you buy a phone on Verizon on contract for $199 or whoever else, that the phone in question costs you a whole lot more than it would full price, by the end of your contract. I think it’s this sort of culture that Google wants to put a stop to, and to bring in an era where it’s almost “bring your own phone”. That sort of thing has been successful for T-Mobile and their constant courting of iPhone users because, by and large, they leave their customers to it, which is something that I think is important in today’s climate. It’s so common for us to go to whatever website we want and download as much as we want at home so, why shouldn’t it be the same when we’re on the go? If the Internet is heading mobile then so should the same ideals come with it, too.
Google will be wanting to offer something close to nothing but Data and have voice and SMS go through it, using Google Voice, presumably but, it’s tough to see how they would have a network strong enough to do it. Of course, Data is something that will be integral for the service and Google should be offering unlimited Data as standard, this could incur a higher monthly price but, I think we’d all be happy paying for more, if we actually got more. Unfettered access to the Internet will be another one of Google’s key sales point and it’d be something that Verizon and AT&T couldn’t match.
When it comes down to tech, Google will be looking offer it’s service on GSM and they favor international bands so expect something similar to what T-Mobile offer in terms of bands and 3G.
Sign Me Up!

Not so fast, it’s going to be a long time before we see anything of such a service from Google but, thanks to the openness of the FCC, if this is happening we should see documentation of the stuff come into the public eye. When that happens, you can be sure that we’ll be ready and waiting to bring you all the details. If anything, 2013 is shaping up to be quite a year…
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Unread 2012-12-07, 05:27 PM   #14
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Is Sprint Trying to Keep Google Wireless from Happening?



We knew when we first started hearing about Google and Dish Network being in talks about possibly creating a wireless operator, which we have since called Google Wireless, that other carriers weren’t going to like it. And of course they wouldn’t. Google has shown in the last year, that they are willing to sell devices at cost and make their money off of content. So they would probably do it the same way with their wireless plans. Sell them at the cost to keep their customers connected, and make all the money from Google Play.

Now, we are getting reports that Sprint is in talks with Dish Network for a partnership to allow Dish Network to offer mobile-phone service over Sprint’s network. Right now, Sprint can barely handle the load on their network they have. How are they going to have Dish Network offering service on their network in its current state? Sprint is going to need to get LTE out and covering most of the US before they can do this partnership with Dish Network successfully. But that’s just my thoughts on it.

The potential deal between the two companies would allow Sprint access to Dish’s spectrum which is currently unused. The companies would then share revenue from customers who sign up for a Dish wireless service, or Dish may pay Sprint a fee to use the network. According to people familiar with the matter. This deal would allow Dish to enter the mobile market, and offer its 14 million satellite-TV customers wireless service. Dish has also said they won’t make a decision until a regulatory ruling on its airwaves is made, which is supposed to come as next week.

If the deal goes through, this could help Sprint even more to compete with the likes of Verizon and AT&T. Currently Softbank (a Japanese wireless operator) has closed a deal with Sprint to own 70% of the carrier. Which is giving Sprint $8 billion in cash to spend on making deals and upgrading its network. Sprint has also recently bought some Midwest spectrum from US Cellular, which cost Sprint about $480 million.

While we heard that Google Wireless did fall through earlier this week, this could have been Sprint trying to prevent Google Wireless from becoming a reality. It could also be a way for Sprint to work on getting their network up to par with the competition sooner. Right now Sprint’s data network is extremely over populated. 3G speeds are hitting at max 1.5mbps, usually are a lot lower. So Sprint could use the extra cash to overhaul their 3G network and get 4G LTE up and running sooner.

So we know Dish is desperately trying to get into the mobile industry. We’ve heard of them being in talks with MetroPCS, Sprint, and Google. But who’s going to get to use the spectrum that Dish has acquired? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Unread 2012-12-12, 01:53 PM   #15
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FCC Gives Dish Network Approval to Build Own LTE Network




The FCC has voted in favor of allowing Dish Network to use their AWS spectrum as a 4G LTE wireless network. Dish will now “consider its strategic options,” but as you all know, Google was once brought up as a potential partner for the satellite company. Those rumors seem to have died a bit, but in order for those talks to even advance, you would assume that this approval needed to happen first. Sprint has also been linked to Dish, along with a handful of other companies.
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Unread 2012-12-21, 05:17 PM   #16
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Dish Has Been Given Just 7 Years To Roll Out 70 Per Cent Coverage of Its AWS-4 Network


It’s always interesting when we hear of companies looking to enter the already crowded US Wireless Industry and with Dish, it looks like it’s going to be a lot fun to watch. The FCC have since given the network the go ahead to use the AWS-4 Spectrum for their planned LTE network. There’s now a little bit of a catch to go along with this, the Network has been given just 7 years to roll out 70 per cent coverage of their network. The network plans on rolling out their network at a rate of 10 per cent a year and if they fall behind on these plans then they could well face severe consequences. If Dish were to sleep on their roll out in the first 4 years for instance, they would have just a few years to make up the rest of it. The FCC have said that Dish’s license to uncovered areas will automatically expire if they fail to meet targets.

It’s certainly an interesting approach by the FCC here and I like what they’re trying to do, by taking this sort of approach it could well be the best way to test Dish’s mettle. If the network is serious about entering the wireless industry then they’ll have to work, not only to get there but, to keep themselves there. Other competitors were worried that Dish would intentionally cover the most lucrative regions and simply risk losing rural areas. Whether or not this is the case is something we’ll have to watch. I don’t know how I would handle it if I were Dish but, I would try my best to roll out in the areas that AT&T, Big Red et al aren’t making a go of.

Competition is something I think the US market is desperately in need of, while Sprint has secured massive investment from Softbank and have recently bought the remainder of Clearwire, it doesn’t mean they’re going to become a match for the two biggest carriers – AT&T and Verizon. With Big Red looking to complete a full US roll out of LTE next year, entering the market at this stage looks like a very big risk, indeed. I don’t know about you but, I certainly wish them luck.
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Unread 2013-01-08, 08:32 PM   #17
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Dish Network Outbids Sprint to Buy Out Majority Share of Clearwire



Sprint and Clearwire have been working together for a while and had their share of drama in the past. Clearwire has been helping Sprint with their build out of Sprint’s LTE network. Today however, a new player has stepped in between the two. Dish Network, who we’ve all heard is in cahoots with Google to make their own wireless network, has outbid Sprint for a majority share in Clearwire.
Dish Network’s bid would give Clearwire 11% more cash than Sprint’s would. Sprint is obviously not pleased and says that Dish’s bid is “inferior” to theirs. Both companies would greatly benefit from the purchase of the company, Sprint needing Clearwire for their LTE rollout and Dish would might be one step closer to Google and their own spectrum. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how this deal shakes out over the next few days.
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Unread 2013-01-09, 12:18 AM   #18
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Sweet deal. I already have Dish and Clear, bring it on.
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Unread 2013-01-09, 09:53 AM   #19
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Clear costs too much per month for the speeds you get. Although Sprint's LTE is pretty fast if you get the signal. I was pulling down almost 30 megs down on my phone. I will be interested to see where Dish goes with this.

Are they wanting to use a different technology than current LTE?
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Unread 2013-01-09, 10:00 AM   #20
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I have 0 good options. I refuse to get TWC as they are shit and I got fucked over by ATT so I went with Clear when Chuck was selling it. It works great for me and I never have any issues.
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Unread 2013-01-09, 10:29 AM   #21
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Doesn't Sprint own at least some of Clear? Thought they had taken a majority ownership recently as well.
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Unread 2013-01-09, 11:02 AM   #22
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Doesn't Sprint own at least some of Clear? Thought they had taken a majority ownership recently as well.
Clear is going bankrupt iirc and Sprint was bidding and one article said that they took it but Dish wants spectrum as well
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Unread 2013-01-11, 12:02 AM   #23
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Doesn't Sprint own at least some of Clear? Thought they had taken a majority ownership recently as well.
Sprint bought the majority back of clear, they own 51% and are in the process of buying the rest. This is where dish comes into play..

Dish maybe interested, but I suspect they don't want the company (it's a shitty company anyways). It's all about the spectrum. Which in clear's case.. isn't that good.
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Unread 2013-01-24, 10:11 AM   #24
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Google testing new wireless network, asks FCC to keep details secret

Experimental network at Mountain View given "confidential" status.



Google is building a wireless network at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, using spectrum owned by Clearwire that's suitable for LTE cellular deployments. The project is described in an application to the Federal Communications Commission, but many of the details are secret. In a letter accompanying the application, Google "respectfully requests confidential treatment."
"Google has not made the information subject to this request available to the public or to any third parties, does not routinely disclose such commercially sensitive information to the public or to third parties, and has established procedures to protect such information internally," the company wrote.
So what's going on? What details we know are in Google's application for an experimental license and a two-paragraph description accompanying it. "Google plans to test up to 50 base stations and 200 user devices," wireless engineer Steven Crowley wrote yesterday in a blog post summarizing the application. "Base stations will be indoors and outdoors, with the range of each 100-200 meters, and 500-1000 meters, respectively. Both directional and non-directional antennas will be used. The experiment is to take place within a two-mile radius, so this is a quite dense network, which could have very high capacity for carrying data."
Google requests use of frequencies 2524-2546 and 2567-2625 MHz, which are used by Clearwire for mobile broadband. “The only reason to use these frequencies is if you have business designs on some mobile service,” Crowley told the Wall Street Journal. Google has not revealed the output power of the devices used in the test, though, deeming the information "not applicable" in the application form. That "doesn’t make sense," Crowley wrote. "The power is a fundamental quantity that should be disclosed so others may independently assess the potential for interference from the experiment to their services. FCC staff should ask Google to supply this information."
The types of base stations and end-user devices used in the tests are also confidential.
Google, of course, has become an Internet provider with Google Fiber in Kansas City. There have also been rumors that Google is talking to Dish Network about offering cellular service. And just days ago, Dish offered to buy Clearwire, whose spectrum Google is using in this test.
Google's previous requests for experimental licenses have used unlicensed frequencies such as those in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands used by Wi-Fi. "This appears to be Google’s first experimental radio application using mobile broadband bands," Crowley wrote.
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Unread 2014-02-26, 03:33 PM   #25
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Dish reportedly won auction for 1900MHz H-Block spectrum






Dish has reportedly won a government spectrum auction, and will now have a massive portion of H-Block in their grasp. That’s important because Dish’s current holdings are adjacent to their new-found holdings, and make Dish the fifth largest spectrum holder in the US. Coming off the heels of a few failed bids to acquire spectrum via snapping up mobile carriers, this is great news for Dish.
If you recall, Dish was a huge adversary for Softbank in their deal for Sprint last year. Dish was also attempting to sneak Clearwire away from Sprint, and quite honestly had a better deal for shareholders. Unfortunately, none of that worked out as they had hoped, leading them the way of the auction. This new H-Block holding is said to have been purchased for $1.56 billion.
If they have indeed won the auction, this would make Dish a major spectrum holder, and free to license their spectrum — or use it for service of their own. The H-Block in question is 1900MHz, and while not the widest or most powerful available, it does pack a punch. Some speculated Dish would make a run at T-Mobile, much as they did with Sprint, but that never materialized.
Dish has long toyed with the idea of getting involved in the wireless game, and this deal gives them enough spectrum to be. We can now begin to wonder if Dish will be a carrier, lease their spectrum out, or partner with someone. There was speculation long ago that they would team up with Google, and this spectrum is likely going to refresh those rumors. Whatever they end up doing with it, it’s a big win for Dish.
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