Canada ruling pushes Dish's LTE plan forward

Though the satellite operator is still waiting for FCC approval, its win in Canada points to a new type of mobile network

The Canadian government has approved the transfer of satellite spectrum to Dish Network, putting the company just one major ruling away from building a land-based 4G mobile data network on the frequencies.

However, the decision Dish is still awaiting, from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is by no means a sure thing. That agency, which was already grappling with LightSquared's controversial satellite-to-4G plan when it took up Dish's request last year, would need to grant Dish an important waiver before the company could complete its acquisition of spectrum from bankrupt satellite operators TerreStar and DBSD.

Gamma Acquisition, a Dish subsidiary, agreed in March 2011 to acquire DBSD for about US$325 million. In July, a bankruptcy court cleared Gamma's deal to acquire TerreStar for $1.375 billion. Dish announced in August that it planned to build a hybrid mobile data network using satellites and LTE-Advanced, a version of the popular Long-Term Evolution technology that will have new features for greater efficiency and other improvements.

Dish is seeking a waiver from the FCC that would allow it to offer LTE service by itself, which would free the company from having to sell heavier, more expensive phones that have satellite as well as 4G capability.

Industry Canada, the agency overseeing Dish's proposed transactions in that country, has approved the transfer of Canadian spectrum licenses to Dish from TerreStar and DBSD, Dish said in a statement on Tuesday. The agency found that the deal would be in the public interest because it would make more wireless capacity available.

On Tuesday, Dish said it is ready to close both acquisitions if the FCC signs off on the deals and the waivers that would be needed to operate its planned network.

LightSquared also wants to operate a 4G network in former satellite spectrum, on a band that is adjacent to the frequencies used by GPS. It has been granted the same type of waiver that Dish is seeking, but only on the condition that interference between its network and GPS be resolved first.

Dish is not expected to face the same type of interference issues because the spectrum it is acquiring is not near to the GPS band.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?