US satellite TV company Dish is working with Qualcomm to develop a chipset which will allow future Dish mobile devices to access both satellite-based and terrestrial broadband services.
The project is aimed at adding satellite-based services – using the 2GHz/AWS spectrum – to Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 platform, the world’s first multimode 3G and LTE modem. The satellite air interface uses a 3G-based standard called Enhanced Geostationary Air Link.
The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering a proposal that would allow Dish to use its spectrum to deliver ground-based wireless broadband services, as well as satellite services.
Dish executive VP Tom Cullen said that with the FCC decision still to be taken, the Qualcomm development funding is a “risk-based investment” which is important for the company to “accelerate a long-term path to developing both the satellite and ground-based mobile markets."
"For Dish to be competitive in the wireless broadband space, it is critical that we are able to offer terrestrial broadband services to consumers. The tailoring of this chipset to allow both modes of operation will give Dish the ability to support truly ubiquitous connectivity across the nation," Cullen added.