Dish: This Year's LightSquared?
Dish has just received Canadian approval for the transfer of the TerreStar Networks Inc. license to its wireless initiatives. "In granting its approval, Industry Canada reached the conclusion that the transfer would be in the public interest in light of 'the capacity that would be available in Canada,' among other reasons," the company said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The company wants to be able to build an earthbound 4G network in ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) spectrum without being required to offer phones that support both land and satellite connections. It is still waiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the TerreStar and and DBSD North America Inc. licenses and how it wants to use them.
The 2GHz ATC spectrum differs in one major regard from the 1.6GHz L-Band spectrum that LightSquared wants to use for LTE: It doesn't sit right next to the frequencies used for GPS services.
That doesn't mean that Dish's ATC plans aren't already causing controversy. Dish wants to peg its 4G deployment to the introduction of LTE-Advanced, which would probably see service start in 2013 or so.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), however, is calling on the FCC to lay down conditions similar to those it imposed on LightSquared. That operator's network is supposed to cover 100 million Americans by the end of 2012. [Ed note: Bwahahahahahahaha. Yeah, right.]
"AT&T supports build out requirements for 2 GHz comparable to those imposed on LightSquared," Ma Bell said in a seven-page letter to the FCC last month. Dish isn't happy with that idea, naturally.
So, it already seems like the Dish initiative could be another Plan 9 From Outer Space when it comes to using satellite spectrum for an earth-bound 4G network.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile