Google and Dish Network were in talks to launch a new wireless service, according to a report from The Wall St. Journal. People familiar with the discussions said the service would “rival the networks of wireless carriers such as AT&T and Verizon.” A source said the talks could amount to nothing, but what would happen if they made a deal?
Dish Network acquired wireless spectrum back in 2008 and 2011, but they are waiting on the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to be used for a ground-based cellphone network. A ruling could finally come next year, so Dish Network is talking with several partners that would “like to be in the industry” and “currently don’t have a wireless business.”
Don’t get too excited, because it would take a long time for a new network to be built. If the FCC grants Dish Network their request, analyst predict it will take “three to five years before Dish and its partners could roll out a nationwide wireless network.” Dish has previously said that they want to launch an LTE Advanced network by 2016.
Previous court documents revealed that Google wanted to offer a $9.99 unlimited data plan for Android phones, but nothing ever came of that. Google is already offering free Internet with their new Google Fiber service, so it would be interesting to see what kinds of deals they would offer for wireless service.
Google appears to be frustrated with the US carriers, so we expect they will continue to want control of their own wireless spectrum. If Google can’t agree on a deal with Dish Network, expect them to keep looking for other partners to launch a wireless network.