12 December 2012
| Kavit Majithia
US regulator FCC has approved a plan to allow Dish Networks to use its satellite airwaves to build a new cellular network.
The approval comes as welcome
news for the US industry, in a move that potentially adds new
capacity to the nation’s congested airwaves.
FCC spokeswoman Tammy Sun said the move will be highly
beneficial for consumer demand. "These actions will help meet
skyrocketing consumer demand and promote private investment,
innovation and competition while unlocking billions of dollars
worth of value."
Dish will be required to restrict parts of its airwaves to
avoid interference, and it will be expected to build out at
least 70% of the network within the next six years.
The FCC is "committed to the final action" of freeing up the
particular satellite spectrum for mobile use, said chairman
Julius Genachowski in a hearing.
Dish is a satellite provider and needed FCC approval to build
the mobile network that accommodated cellular chips, not
satellite. The rule change will allow for Dish to use the
airwaves to construct a ground-based cellular network.
Dish has been aggressively lobbying against the FCC to allow
satellite airwaves to be used for mobile.