US satellite TV giant DISH Network has indicated that it is keen to form a strategic partnership with T-Mobile USA if AT&T Inc’s ill-fated bid for control of the Deutsche Telekom-owned cellco fails. DISH, which acquired wireless spectrum earlier this year as part of deals for bankrupt satellite smartphone operator TerreStar (July 2011) and hybrid satellite and communications company DBSD North America (February 2011), has set its sights on rolling out a cellular network using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, with the company requesting permission from the FCC to offer a standalone cellular service, as opposed to an integrated satellite service.
Speaking to Bloomberg, DISH CEO Joseph Clayton commented: ‘We are not interested in making money on selling our spectrum. We want to use it to create a national wireless network – video, voice and data. We have got expertise in satellite TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part – we need some help with’. With reference to the enforced freeing up of certain AT&T/T-Mobile spectrum blocks, Clayton added: ‘We feel if the AT&T/T-Mobile deal goes through, we win. If it doesn’t go through, we still win. We like our hand. We just don’t know what all the cards are yet. Until the FCC opines on our licences and on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, it is still somewhat cloudy’.