Search engine giant, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is discussing a partnership with satellite-TV provider, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) to provide a new wireless service, to compete with major wireless carriers including AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), according to the report from Wall Street Journal.
The discussion between Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) is within its exploratory stage, and it might not produce a tangible result. The satellite-TV provider also held discussions with other potential partners, according to unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
In 2008, Dish Network acquired a wireless spectrum, and the company wants to use it to expand its business by building a wireless network to provide mobile phone and Internet services.
On the other hand, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) started installing its fiber networks for customers in Kansas City, as it expands its high-speed Internet and video service in the country.
Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network, declined to provide information regarding the company’s discussion with Google during an interview last Thursday. The Wall Street Journal cited that Ergen confirmed that he considered potential partners without wireless business, but are interested in investing in the industry. He emphasized that it would be easier for Dish Network to create a partnership with a company with expertise and infrastructures, such as wireless towers to transmit data.
Ergen previously identified Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA as potential partners; however, the companies recently announced their plans to merge with other companies. Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) confirmed its merger with Softbank, a Japanese network carrier.
According to analysts, T-Mobile could be a reasonable partner for Dish Network, aside from Google. Last year, AT&T withdrew its proposal to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion, because regulators were against the transaction.
Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) is still in the process of getting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to utilize its spectrum to provide a wireless service. The company asked the FCC to approve its plan to provide a ground-based cellphone network. The commission denied the required waivers, and opted to deliberate Dish Network’s request.
It would take Dish Network and its potential partners three to five years to launch a nationwide wireless network, according to Lawrence Behr, founder of Lawrence Behr Associates Inc., which provides technical support to wireless-network operators.
If you remember, we reported earlier this year that Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) was toying with the idea of entering the wireless world. In our article, we listed the possibilities of T-Mobile merging with Dish, or a smaller network. We now know that T-Mobile was indeed making plans to enter a merger agreement with Metro PCS. The possibility of Dish entering the wireless world may mean major competition to some of the larger mobile carriers, such as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), and T-Mobile.