FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has officially provided his backing to Dish Network's plans to build a mobile network in the US with its satellite spectrum. Dish has been trying to get approval for its network from the FCC for some time, and it still has to gain approval from the other four commissioners on the FCC's board. The company hopes to build a terrestrial cellular network using spectrum that used to be allocated for satellite service.
Genachowksi also backed a similar proposal from LightSquared last year, but that didn't turn out to guarantee approval for the company's plans to build a terrestrial cellular network with former satellite spectrum. LightSquared's plans were quashed because of apparent interference issues its network would have with existing GPS services, and Dish may run into similar troubles. The FCC has suggested that Dish lower the power levels of its network to avoid interference, which the company argues would cripple its capabilities.
The FCC is due to rule on Dish's proposal before the end of this year, so the company shouldn't have to wait too much longer to find out if its plans are approved, denied, or significantly modified. With rumors circulating that Dish and Google may pair up on a wireless network, this could get really interesting before its over.