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Dish reportedly plans to sell mobile phones at Blockbuster retail stores

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Blockbuster Store Closing Zoom 1024
Blockbuster Store Closing Zoom 1024

According to a report from Bloomberg, Dish Network plans to start selling phones out of Blockbuster's retail stores as a trial in the company's effort to join the wireless market. Dish has planned to build a mobile network in the US that could come by 2016, and while the company clashed with the FCC on terms earlier this year, two weeks ago FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski officially pledged to back its plans. Blockbuster already sells phones for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint through its "Blockbuster Mobile" website, and Bloomberg reports that phone sales will soon shift to roughly 850 retail locations.

While Dish's streaming hopes won't pan out, it appears that the company planned to sell phones in Blockbuster stores from the start. Bloomberg reports that Dish founder and chairman Charlie Ergen intended to use the video rental company's stores to sell mobile devices that could stream Blockbuster movies. Ergen abandoned that plan, leaving Blockbuster's future as a media rental service in question — but Dish doesn't seem too worried about staying in the media business. Earlier this week, Dish CEO Joseph Clayton told reporters that the premium TV business is mature, and that the company's future "plan a" is wireless.