Google in talks with Dish to build wireless network, report says
The talks are preliminary but raise the prospect of Google becoming a wireless service provider
IDG News Service - It already sells phones and tablets, provides a wealth of online services and has been laying high-speed fiber to people's homes. Now Google is apparently considering a wireless network service as well.
Google has been in talks with satellite TV provider Dish Network over a possible partnership to build out a wireless service that would rival those from carriers such as AT&T and Sprint, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The talks are at an early stage and could amount to nothing, and Google is just one of many companies Dish is talking to, according to the Journal, which cited anonymous sources. But it raises the prospect that Google might expand its business in a new direction.
Dish has been buying spectrum that could support a wireless service, although it still needs regulatory approval to set one up. In an interview with the Journal Thursday, CEO Charlie Ergen said the partners Dish is talking to include companies that don't currently have a wireless business.
Google declined to comment on the report, the newspaper said.
The move would take Google in another new direction and could support its goal to make high-speed Internet service more widely available in North America.
Earlier this week Google said it had started connecting homes to a fiber broadband service that the company has been building out in Kansas. Google has said the network is part of an "experiment" to bring ultra-high-speed broadband to as many as 500,000 people, though the Journal reported Thursday that Google hopes to take the service nationwide.
Google now also sells smartphones and tablets, since it bought Motorola Mobility earlier this year.
DISH is in talks with everyone who is in position to help them put together the capital, networks including high capacity backhaul, and device sector leadership. As the article says, the talks are preliminary and Sprint, T-Mobile, and probably whoever else who might contribute the above. It reiterates what Ergen has said repeatedly: that he needs a mobile operator as a partner. Google could certainly contribute on the capital and device fronts. However, the speculation about Google tends to quickly go overboard: for example, Google has gotten involved in FTTH/P, fiber to the home/premises, but has stipulated in contracts with the local government entities that they will give up control of the networks to the municipalities or their contracted agents after the fiber networks reach a stage of maturity... Google mostly is doing fiber as a way to show the way forward..the 'this is how its done' setting the stage for the infrastructure industry and local governments to take over once the die is caste. The returning CEO has reduced external areas of focus, saying that Google must concentrate more on their core competencies. While that doesn't mean they will curtail FTTH efforts is tends to mean that they will continue to do these as pilot rather than mainstream endeavors.
There is enough irons in the fire so that Google's role beyond serving as a catalyst to help spark areas of development is not needed. Google got into 700MHz auctions, FTTH, Clearwire (got out), White Spaces spectrum, can all be seen as of the same ilk: priming the pump and holding a big club over the industry as if to say: "Go in the directions that lead to open IP BB or else we just might pound your heads in."
This connects a lot of dots ... Debt purchases... Kansas projects... DTV... spectrum reassignment... Google sale of CLWR stock
More consolidation to come and perhaps this will cause Apple to do something with their $100B+ cash horde.
I think it's unfortunate that the prospect of Clearwire getting courted by Google or Apple is now non-existing because of Softbank-Sprint's territorial claim. After years of being used by Sprint Clearwire is now being sold off to a new owner by Clearwire's master.
Thursday, November 15, 11:11 PM Google (GOOG) has held talks with Dish Network (DISH) about building a massive 4G network using Dish's spectrum, the WSJ reports, which cautioning the talks "aren't advanced and could amount to nothing." Such a tie-up would be costly for Google and risk hurting carrier support for Android, but there would also be benefits. Google "wants people to watch 10 hours of YouTube a day ... what hurts them is [wireless carriers] restricting capacity," observes BTIG's Walter Piecyk. Sprint (S) and Clearwire (CLWR) have been named in the past as potential Dish partners.
IMO, the YouTube portion fits nicely with TDD-LTE. It's also illustrates why Son wants a S-SB-CLWR deal for mobile video...