Dish Network looking at partnering, acquiring wireless operator

Dish Network is entertaining the idea of partnering or purchasing a wireless operator such as Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), the company's chief executive Joseph Clayton told Bloomberg.

The satellite company earlier this year purchased TerreStar Networks and DBSD North America out of bankruptcy and petitioned the FCC last month to allow it to combine the S-Band spectrum licensees it acquired from those companies and build a hybrid satellite-terrestrial mobile broadband network using LTE-Advanced technology.

Dish, citing the conditional waiver the FCC granted LightSquared, wants to build out a hybrid network using the 40 MHz of spectrum from TerreStar and DBSD under a subsidiary called Gamma, and argues that the network will help promote the FCC's goal of expanding broadband access. In its filing to request the transfer of the spectrum licenses, Dish said that the FCC should waive its Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) "integrated service" rule, and permit Dish provide dual-mode devices to customers who want them, and single-mode terrestrial devices to customers who do not want the satellite function.

"There are several missing pieces," Bloomberg quoted Clayton as saying. "Wireless infrastructure, additional technology capabilities and even distribution are pieces that we're still working on. Stay tuned."

Dish has yet to detail any specific rollout plans.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

Related articles:
Dish's wireless plan unveiled: satellite-terrestrial LTE-Advanced network
Dish CEO: We plan to have 'significant role' in wireless industry
Dish gets final approval for $1.38B TerreStar auction purchase
Dish Network lands $1.38B bid for TerreStar, reportedly outflanking MetroPCS
Bankrupt TerreStar extends deadline for bids on assets
Dish's Ergen: No 'grand strategy' on spectrum play