Feeds

Dish eyes 4G LTE wireless network

Anything LightSquared can do...

High performance access to file storage

Dish Networks is following LightSquared's lead in applying to the FCC to be relieved of its obligation to use satellite frequencies for satellite communications.

The plan is to provide Americans with data access using TD-LTE, over the frequencies which are supposed to be reserved for satellite communications, and Dish would like the FCC's permission to ship kit that has no capability to talk to the satellites at all, just as LightSquared intends to do.

The radio spectrum owned by Dish, and LightSquared, is reserved for satellites, but as satellite transmissions have a hard time penetrating buildings and terrain operators are allowed to build an Ancillary Terrestrial Component* – infill transmitters operating at the same frequency as the birds and providing signal to those without line of sight.

LightSquared turned that model on its head, suggesting that the ground-based network would be primary, with the satellite providing in-fill: estimated at around 2 per cent of traffic. LightSquared then successfully lobbied the FCC to permit it (and its wholesale customers) to ship equipment that isn't even capable of satellite communications, turning the company into a 4G network wholesaler without having to shell out for 4G spectrum.

LightSquared's plan was clearly insane, but remarkably the company has put almost all the pieces into place and now the only thing standing between LightSquared and a national network is the GPS crowd.

GPS uses very low-power frequencies alongside the LightSquared band, and the industry is very upset at being swamped by high-power LTE signals when previously its only neighbours were economically impractical satellite-phone operators.

Dish Networks bought two of those operators, DBSD (formerly ICO) and TerreStar, to get their spectrum. Both companies also have birds in the air, but Dish wants permission for some of its customers to ignore the satellites and use a ground-based network instead. That spectrum is well clear of the GPS band – the neighbours are fixed microwave and local television relays, and a 90MHz block of "Federal Government Use" – but Dish will still need to raise enough money to build such a network.

Assuming Dish sticks to fixed internet access, then they'd need a lot less than the $9bn LightSquared has to find. This is because it will be able to roll out slowly to the more-profitable locations first, though (as DailyWireless points out) it could equally sign a deal with AT&T or similar to share tower sites.

The FCC will have a hard time rejecting the request, given the latitude already given to LightSquared, so the USA could soon have yet another LTE network while here in Blighty we're a couple of years from having our first. ®

* In the UK we call it Complementary Ground Component, and operators have to pay proper rates to use it, so none of them do.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.