A fast 4G network—from Dish Network?

Consumer Reports News: August 23, 2011 02:53 PM

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Fast, wireless Internet data networks are the realm of cellular service providers such as Sprint and Verizon, right? Not if several other companies have their way. The latest challenger is Dish Network.

According to several sources, the digital satellite TV company has filed a waiver with the FCC that would allow Dish to combine the parts of radio spectrum of two recently acquired companies. The plan, according to the filings, would be to create a hybrid Earth- and space-based network that would cover the nation in wireless 4G LTE signals.

Dish pledges that such a hybrid network could help spread fast wireless service to underserved rural areas. And other space-and-earth hybrid networks—primarily, LightSquared, which receive an FCC waiver back in 2003—do exist.

Concerns over potential interference with GPS signals have stalled LightSquared's rollout. But Dish says its proposed network operates on a different frequency, which would rule out interference issues. What's more, Dish's proposed wireless 4G net would be directly available to consumers, unlike LightSquared's setup, which is available only to service resellers such as Sprint.

Dish says its network could be available—should the FCC give its blessings—by 2014. What do you think? Would you welcome fast wireless Internet service from a satellite TV service company?

Dish unveils plans for 4G LTE network [CNet]
Dish 4G Plan Challenges Falcone's LightSquaredDish Seeks Waiver for Hybrid Terrestrial-Satellite Broadband Service [Broadcast & Cable]

Paul Eng

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