Satellite television provider Dish has been making moves to launch a terrestrial LTE wireless network for years, including a $25.5 billion bid for wireless carrier Sprint. According to a report from Bloomberg, Dish isn't putting all of its bets on the Sprint deal, however, as it has put in a $2 billion bid to purchase the spectrum owned by bankrupt LightSquared.
LightSquared famously went bankrupt in 2012 after the Federal Communications Commission initially approved and then later denied its application to use the L-band satellite spectrum it owned for a land-based LTE network. The FCC said that the spectrum was too close to what was being used for GPS services, and it therefore caused interference when used for an LTE network.
Dish would still need the FCC's approval before it could use the spectrum for LTE
Despite those troubles, Dish apparently feels that it can make use of the spectrum, though it will need the FCC's approval before it can be used it for an LTE network. As it stands now, should Dish purchase the spectrum, it could theoretically use it for satellite services without running into the interference LightSquared faced because of the lower power requirements for satellite services.
Dish has been very aggressive in its pursuit of spectrum — back in 2011 it bid on and purchased TerreStar, another bankrupt company, to acquire its S-band spectrum. The satellite provider plans to eventually launch an LTE wireless network that would compete with AT&T and Verizon Wireless, but it still has a ways to go before it is ready to deploy it. According to Bloomberg, LightSquared has until May 31st to respond to Dish's offer.