Dish plans to enter cellular phone market.

Dish Network Corp. plans to start a cell company that will use LTE-only (as opposed to GSM or CDMA) to provide both data and voice. Apparently its phones will use VoIP (voice over internet protocol) on its own LTE wireless network using their unused satellite spectrum. This is a novel approach, and one that should have a future.

LightSquared tried to use its satellite frequencies for a similar wireless system, but failed to win FCC approval earlier this year because its frequency allotment is adjacent to a critical GPS frequency. LightSquared had previously won preliminary FCC approval after its officers and one wife contributed $180,000 to the DNC (Democratic National Commitee) one week after visiting the White House. Then the Defense Department and GPS industry complained about degradation of GPS signals, so the FCC disapproved LightSquared’s plan. LightSquared has filed for bankruptcy.

On Tuesday the FCC approved Dish’s plan (with power limits to reduce interference) and Dish CEO Charlie Ergen has taken control of its wireless program, so I wouldn’t bet against it.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695


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