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Dish gains FCC approval to build its own LTE network

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dish logo ces 1020
dish logo ces 1020

The FCC has finally approved Dish Network’s plans to build out an LTE network using its available wireless spectrum. The satellite company had been lobbying to use its spectrum for some time, and it's now free to do so after extensive negotiations on the terms of the approval. Those included how many potential customers the network would reach, as well as the penalties that Dish would face if it failed to meet its deadlines. Dish is naturally pleased with the development, saying in a statement that the next move for the company will be to "consider its strategic options and the optimal approach to put this spectrum to use for the benefit of consumers."

Bloomberg has already pointed to possible plans for the company, saying that Dish could sell mobile phones in Blockbuster stores or seek a deal with Sprint. Rather than building out its own network, Dish would instead make use of Sprint's existing services as an MVNO in exchange for its unused spectrum. The difficult task of gaining approval for the spectrum may be out of the way, but the next challenge for Dish will be to decide how best to monetize it.