updated 01:50 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Dish completes buyout of TerreStar, DBSD
Dish Network has now completed its court-approved purchases of satellite operators TerreStar and DBSD. The satellite TV provider plans to use the operators' wireless licenses to offer 4G cellular access and thus compete with cable TV and phone companies. This would be a first for a satellite provider, as they can't provide Internet access to many homes and when they can, the speeds aren't as fast as those offered by cable providers.
Dish will build cell towers on the ground to share the newly-acquired wireless spectrum. TerreStar and DBSD offer satellite-based wireless services and can use ground-based service as a backup.
The FCC recently delayed its decision on allowing Dish to make a satellite-free 4G phone network, saying the rulemaking process needs to be satisfied. If Dish is denied a waiver, devices on the network will need to access satellite signals as well, slowing down real-world access.
Unlike LightSquared's similar idea, the Dish network won't interfere with GPS signals, the carrier maintains, as it uses different frequencies. The FCC didn't approve LightSquared's network for that reason.