- November 16, 2012 02:20pm EST
There could be a new kid on the wireless service block: Google and Dish Network.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that the satellite TV provider and the search engine giant have in recent weeks been discussing the possibility of partnering to build a new wireless service to rival that of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Talks between the companies are preliminary, an unnamed source told the Journal, and may crumble before any final decisions are made.
Google and Dish Network declined to comment on the rumors.
Dish has been pursuing a potential future in the wireless business for some time. Dish completed its acquisition of spectrum from DBSD North America and Terrestar Networks earlier this year, which it hoped to use to launch a wireless network. The FCC in March, however, denied Dish’s request for a waiver that would have jumpstarted that process. The FCC is now in the midst of a year-long, formal review of Dish’s request, the Journal said.
As a result, Dish might need some help to make those wireless dreams a reality. In a recent interview with the Journal, Ergen did not speak specifically about Google, but said that some potential partner companies include those “who would like to be in the industry” and don’t currently have a wireless business.
Ergen conceded, however, that it would be best to hook up with an organization already equipped with wireless towers and other data-transmitting infrastructure. Google might not have spectrum or wireless infrastructure, but it does have money, the Journal pointed out.
The search giant is, however, experimenting with its Google Fiber network in Kansas City at the moment. It also owns phone maker Motorola Mobility, and produces the Android operating system.
The Journal said that Google wants people to consume its products at all hours, but data constraints put in place by providers limit that activity. Having control of that wireless network might help ease those restrictions and create more activity on the Google network. It might also allow for broader adoption of Google Wallet, which AT&T and Verizon don’t currently support, the Journal said.
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