Regulator presses Dish on network launch plans

12 JUL 2018

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official sought reassurance from Dish Network that its planned network launch will meet regulatory requirements, despite the company’s failure to meet the mark in the past.

Earlier this year, Dish executives revealed plans to spend up to $1 billion in the period to March 2020 on construction of an NB-IoT network. The move will not only serve as the satellite operator’s entrance into the wireless market, but is also meant to help it meet spectrum buildout requirements set by the FCC which are designed to ensure valuable airwaves don’t lie fallow.

But in a letter to Dish’s attorney, FCC wireless bureau chief Donald Stockdale noted Dish failed to meet interim construction deadlines in the 700MHz and AWS bands, and pressed the company for detailed information about how it plans to meet final deadlines set for early 2020.

Specifically, Stockdale asked Dish to shed light on a timeline for critical deployment milestones, as well as technology and vendor selection, network architecture, device decisions, site acquisition, coverage area and marketing plans.

He pointed out Dish will lose its 700MHz and AWS licenses if it fails to meet buildout requirements by the final deadlines.

Following its NB-IoT launch, Dish said it will move on to build a 5G network. Charlie Ergen, head of Dish’s wireless effort, remarked at an industry conference in May the company plans to spend “at least $10 billion” on that effort.

Author

Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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