Nov 16 AT 10:41 AM Taylor Wimberly 79 Comments

Google and Dish Network to launch wireless service that would rival AT&T and Verizon?


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.

Source: WSJ

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Noven

    I would love a Google $9.99 plan. I am not sure it would be that low, but a Google unlimited plan makes me giddy

    • LukeT32

      I would more then likely ditch VZW in a heart beat for Google based service.

    • kazahani

      They need to get Voice-over-LTE working. We could all use LTE for our data AND our voice. Leave out the GSM radios and have Google Voice work over the data connection.

      • cb2000a

        Remember that LTE can easily be taken out by a cheap radio frequency jammer. Google entering the wireless carrier market will drive prices down which would be good for consumers (but may drive T-mobile and Sprint out of the business).

        • TMOTECH

          So can any other wireless service. We find people using simple (illegal) jammers all the time. They buy them off the internet for 200 bucks to prevent their employees from using phones during worktime. They do not understand that they cause extreme harm to our networks and that there is a 12,000 fine per day for using them.

    • vforvortex

      Great news…In a couple years I could be driving in my google car, using google wireless with a nexus phone and google fiber optics , google tv. all bought with my google wallet. I think google should just make their own city so i can move there. :)

      • bton

        LOL. I like your idea to have Google city. I’ll move there too :-).

      • Simon Holland Flarup

        What about Google Land? Much better, then we can have our own president of Google Land.

        But i do like the city part :D #1 reason to move to the US, Google Town.

        • teleknEsis

          Personally, I’m partial to the name Googtopia

          • kazahani

            Nope. It would have to be Googlopolis.

    • uzunoff

      Google and Dish network are my favorite companies when it comes to innovations. They did have an agreement to promote Google TV, but now Dish dropped the ball and went ahead with their Blockbuster streaming service instead.
      I would love to see them pursue a wireless network together, but I also think they should collaborate on Google TV as well.
      Unfortunately Google TV is a competitor for Dish and I don’t see them adopting it anytime soon. I just hope that doesn’t deter them from starting a cell phone providing company.

      Also since this is not their main revenue stream, they can afford to have dirt cheap prices in order to get customers. Maybe buy T-mobile in the process… who knows.

      • jsfacade

        I have directv, used to have dish, had some customer relations issues when we moved, the new hopper has me looking back though!

  • Nickedynick

    It’s worth also noting that Google and Microsoft are reportedly going head to head for control of a chunk of the UK’s whitespace too. While the talk so far has concerned wifi, it’s not a huge stretch to see a mobile network being rolled out here too.


    • ddpacino

      Yea, but as an American, this report has my ears even perkier! Uggh, we NEED this!

  • ddpacino

    WOW! This would be toooooo awesome! Google phone, google services, googel cable and internet and a Google wireless plan?! Talk about ecosystem! Just the idea would be too sick… pleeeeeease get a deal done with them! Don’t care how long it takes. I may even move to get the wireless service — seriously! lol

    • Homncruse

      I think you’ve inadvertently hit on the biggest weakness of this strategy — with Google “everything” will come claims of Google being a monopoly. :/ Hopefully, if Dish Network only “partners” with Google (and Google has sufficient say in the service, such that Dish Network doesn’t fill it with pockets full of evil), Google will be removed from the liability equation, and thus no monopoly claims.

  • Meister_Li

    Oh man, I WISH there was a provider out there where the traffic you cause isn’t a loss for them but a benefit. Google is pretty much the only one who can actually claim that, so I really want this to happen.

    … In Ireland, tho. xD Well, that’s unlikely, we don’t even have Google Music or Nexus Devices yet. ;_;

    • Homncruse

      But you do have fantastic beer, so at least you can enjoy that while you wait.

  • PatrickB214

    Skynet! Resistance is futile!

  • Sean Lumly

    Google has shown time and again, that it shakes up industries and challenges the status quo. This characteristic alone has me excited over the potential savings as a consumer. I can imagine Google combining cellular and wifi so that act as a seamlessly connected network in both operation and price. I can see them connecting voice, video, and text over open protocols, and not instituting consumer lock-in strategies. And I can see this helping Android proliferation far beyond phones and tablets and TVs — but spreading to cars, sound-systems, thermostats, refrigerators, etc.

  • Nick Gray

    I think Dish and Google should join forces and buy T-Mobile. Right now, T-Mobile has the fastes HSPA+ network and they are expected to have the fastest LTE network rolling out next year since they will be using newer technology. With cash from Google and Dish, T-Mobile would be able to expand its coverage significantly and be able to compete with AT&T and Verizon by offering extremely low rates.

    • Noven


    • iamXiV92a

      It would definitely line T-Mobile, I mean, G-Mobile to bump Sprint out of the way and become 3rd largest carrier and not 4th!

    • Homncruse

      Love that name.

      • Jimmy_Jo

        I said the exact same thing on another site that broke this story last week! Great minds think alike.

    • Homncruse

      I really hope you’re part soothsayer. Unfortunately, in these times it’s very rare for industries to make such a massive pro-consumer shift.

    • DroidSamurai

      Yea. T-mobile wants to sell itself anyway. Why would Google want to build a new network from scratch? As far as I can see, T-mobile needs cash, Google wants a network that’s friendly to Android phones — that’s a perfect match.

    • RocketDroid

      Awesome idea!

    • Tony

      Yeah.. how about not. T-Mobile does not care about coverage, which is why I can’t get even a meager 3G signal from T-Mobile without travelling almost 2 hours in any direction. Edge all the way.

      I want to see Google bring something new and game changing to the world. Something nobody else is going to have that will work for everyone.

      I really don’t care for Dish Network but I would really like to see where this goes.

  • Wilson Lara

    OMG OMG OMG! Yes! I can’t wait for Google to do this.

    • jsfacade

      I’m with you on that!

  • Bphillips35131

    Well, now I have to change my pants….. for simultaneously crapping and jizzing in them……

  • Scott Dooley

    So by 2020 I expect:
    Google Fiber 1 GB Internet/TV
    “$9.99″ Google Wireless Unlimited Plan
    Google Glass Device (Or whatever it’ll be called)
    Google Self Driving Car
    People I know ACTUALLY using Google+

    Looks like a good future till 2021 name change to skynet

  • JayB95

    Google is awesome.

  • Ardrid

    I’m a bit leery of Google getting involved with Dish Network but, that aside, I would love to see Google provide wireless service. They’ve done a fantastic job with the fiber rollout in KCMO, so I can only imagine what they’d be able to pull off in the wireless space. AT&T and Verizon should be scared to death if this turns out to be true.

  • hemingway

    Anything that provides more competition the better ..prices, esp AT&T and Verizon are ridiculous. Switched to prepaid because I’m unwilling to pay over $100 a month for a cell phone. Vz for example for only 1gb is $90..add taxes and all those fees (which you don’t pay on prepaid & can add 20%) and you’re easily over $100

  • uknowme

    Freaking sweet! Why does Google love us so much? I knew I dropped the ball by not sending them a Sweetest Day gift.

  • Homncruse

    If their pricing and technological awesomeness that is Google Fiber is any indication, I expect that a theoretical Google Wireless would be as revolutionary as the wheel.

  • inviolable

    Google is starting to sound like Umbrella. If any of you live in Raccoon City, I’d advise you to start house shopping.

  • mikeytusa

    It would nice to have more competition in telecoms. Verizon and At&T are both really expensive. It’s about time that industry got a wake up call.

  • Simon Holland Flarup

    I have been waiting for this since Google Fiber. Sweet Google. You make me wanna donate my life to you (Even though i almost do that already)

  • rashad360

    Somebody needs to step in and rival Google before I entrust them with every service in my life, lol. I’d totally sign up for Google wireless

  • Nathan D.

    If it Google, you know it will be cheap.

  • Jx

    Just give us true satellite phones :) at $80, unlimited data and everything else :)

  • jerrbomb

    Google has been frustrated for a while.. Carriers seem to be messing up things.. Carrier apps on top of OEM apps on top of a UI layer that can make pure vanilla android look better or worse…

  • rk1234

    Isn’t the Dish spectrum in the 2Ghz range? That would give poor reception inside buildings and require a denser deployment of cell towers. Similar to the Clearwire situation.

  • Aluzeros

    They would be better off buying sprint out

    • jsfacade

      Interesting Idea!!!

  • sampsjp

    If I was Dish Netwirk I would say… Hell yes!

  • G-Thang

    Wow! Imagine a real Google city! A true live & Breathing ecosystem! not just an integrated Iphony & Ipod ecosystem, thats 4 kids. But a real integrated city, the possibility are endless. Google fiber, Google wireless, Google housing, Google market, Google cars, Google washer & dryer, etc…. all integrated with Google/android ecosystem! I’m so moving there.

    • Epoch

      Google crack heads, Google Homeless, Google Methadone Clinics, Occupy Google Protesters…

  • James

    yet another sign of Google slowly taking over the world and everybody just applauding the news

    • LuckyHermit

      Yep! I think they would be much better than what we currently have!

  • William Hester

    I would buy this so fast, Verizon’s metaphorical head would spin.

  • txbluesman

    Verizon and AT&T could use a monkey wrench thrown into their wheel of services.

    • jsfacade

      Yes they could… they have been getting a little to greedy as of late… they should offer data only plans.. who really needs voice anymore with VOIP.

  • frenchfry

    Remember there was a article that Google is a financial backer in the SoftBank deal to buy most of Sprint. I think this play does have legs and is bigger than announced.

  • Jeffrey Rabin

    Maybe Google should just buy T-Mobile. AT&T was going to buy T-Mobile for $39M. Google could afford that. (And, so could Apple!)

  • John Patrick

    This is about to really get fun. Google may succeed in disrupting both the cable TV industry as well as the Mobile Carrier Networks. The two prime targets are obviously ATT and VZW in my opinion as T-Mobile and Sprint were not actors in the almost synchronized take-down of unlimited data plans which occurred last summer. VZW and ATT have admitted that mobile data is their true cash cow and I would jump ship in a heartbeat if Google offered that service at any kind of competitive price just to avoid giving it to a company that I now have zero customer loyalty with (VZW). Google may provide the perfect way to get even with some rather heavy-handed carriers by allowing us the perfect weapon…our wallets.

  • aluzeros

    bring it, i can’t wait, want to finally bring network carriers to a more competitive pricing model

  • rogue5

    A unlimited plan that cheap?! sign me up ;)

    • jsfacade

      I could only wish.. probably a bit more after taxes right!

  • jefflarkin

    Sounds great on the surface, but Google has a real issue with delivering on the potential of their products early on. They also tend to really fail at customer service and we don’t need another carrier with poor customer service.

  • CaptainDoug

    This would be awesome! Not sure Google has done anything bad in my eyes (yet). Keep it up Google.


    This will surely sue Verizon and ATT, I bet that

  • jsfacade

    This could not come soon enough.. I hope they do this… That and google fiber, though I live in the sticks, so I doubt that will happen!!! ;^(

  • friendlyfire

    Wow this could really fix the problems of carriers blocking and slowing down upgrades!

  • BrotherBloat

    weeee, next step to world domination :D

  • mydnightsorrow

    I bought a motorola phone because of Google. I am impatiently waiting for Google Fiber to come to my area, and if Google had a wireless service I’d be there in a heartbeat. I <3 Google.

  • Dorkstar

    This is such a strange move since Apple just integrated facebook into the Iphone. You’d think they would to build on that partnership, but then again a lot of other manufacturers have had facebook integration for a long time.

  • Dorkstar

    Dish wants to launch a wireless network? Huh.. Well I suppose in the grand scheme of things they are probably losing out to the USB devices being sold by the big phone companies. Here take this wifi device… and some TV/internet while you’re at it!

  • kookeetree

    Yes, this would be awesome. I would so ditch At&t for Google.

  • darkgreen

    whoa that would be so cool!!!!!

  • StEVO_M

    As a Customer on the Sprint network, I have always dreamed of the day Google would buy them. Again… I can dream can’t I… :) ?

  • melan26

    I was really hoping that Google would venture into the wireless service world; one day and I’ll be waiting.

  • VerticalCobra

    Good for us all…

  • dcortright

    Anything to knock verizon off its pedestal I am down for. The market needs some more competition!

  • dutrak

    Even if it did happen I don’t think it would be available any time soon=/