Google and Dish Network have purportedly been discussing launching their own wireless service, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to sources, the talks are still in their preliminary stages and are not indicative of a finalized deal. Dish Network has spoken with a number of companies in the search for a wireless partner, but has not specified who it has made contact with. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen previously stated that the company is looking to team up with a partner that currently has wireless towers and a solid data-transmitting infrastructure, but does not already have a wireless network. Dish Network intends to use wireless spectrum that it had acquired in 2008.
The possibility of a Google-owned wireless service further extends what the company has already started with Google Fiber, a gigabit fiber internet service that just launched in Kansas City. In the FCC's wireless auction that closed in 2008, Google was able to initiate a set of open platform provisions regarding how the 700 MHz spectrum could be used. As a result, the FCC enacted a rule that required carriers to allow any device on their 700 MHz LTE networks. But, Verizon and AT&T have been able to skirt past this rule by producing devices that are technically incompatible with eachother's networks. This is a big reason why the Nexus 4 doesn't have LTE support — Google would have to produce separate devices for both Verizon and AT&T. If Google operated a network of its own, it wouldn't have to fight with carriers nearly as much, and it could produce the devices it wants without any drawbacks.