Sprint rumored to have floated idea of network partnership to DishAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
We've heard quite a bit about Dish Network's aspirations to break into the wireless business, and today a report is claiming that a new method for Dish to get into mobile may have presented itself. Sources speaking to Bloomberg claim that Sprint has proposed an agreement with Dish that would allow the TV company to sell phone service using Sprint's network. In return, it's said that Sprint would get access to Dish's spectrum that's currently sitting unused while Dish waits for an FCC decision on whether or not it could be used to build a network. It's also rumored that either Sprint and Dish could share revenues from Dish's Sprint-powered service or Dish may just pay Sprint for access to its network.
As I mentioned before, Dish is currently waiting for FCC approval to build out its own wireless network using some 2GHz spectrum. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recently came out in support of Dish's plans, but the FCC has also said that Dish may need to use lower power levels with its network to try and avoid causing interference with neighboring spectrum, which is something that Sprint has come out in support of. While Dish recently agreed to use part of its spectrum as a guard against that interference, Sprint still isn't happy with the plan.
A deal between these two companies could give each of them what they seem to want, with Dish gaining entry into the mobile business and Sprint grabbing more spectrum, and it would also put an end to the back-and-forth that they're involved in with the FCC. This is all still very much a rumor for now, but it'd certainly be interesting to see Dish skip the whole "building a network" process and just jump right into the wireless game.