Dish is the latest tech company that wants to become a wireless carrier. A confidential document obtained by Yahoo Finance reveals that the satellite TV provider plans to offer wireless voice, data, and video services.
The documents reveal that the company is looking to hire a chief marketing officer to help Dish enter the wireless carrier space, where it will directly compete with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and now Google.
“We are preparing for something big,” the document says, according to Yahoo Finance. “This is an incredibly exciting time in our history. We have reinvented ourselves in the past and we are preparing to do it again.”
The document also specifically says that Dish is planning to compete with carriers, saying that the new CMO “will be an integral part of the team that changes entertainment forever as Dish enters the wireless business and becomes the only provider that can offer wireless, voice, video, and data.”
Dish already has a big advantage in that it was awarded almost half of the spectrum licenses offered in a U.S. government auction earlier this year. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile also won some of the spectrum from the auction, but Dish is estimated to own $US50 billion in spectrum, as Bloomberg reports.
Spectrum refers to the airwaves used to transmit data to and from your wireless devices. So, each time you watch Netflix or browse the internet on your phone, you’re gobbling up some wireless spectrum.
Dish’s ownership of this block of spectrum is particularly important because spectrum is in high demand. Eventually it’s going to run out, and experts say we’re breezing through it faster than ever now that we’re using mobile devices for really data-intensive tasks, such as streaming video.
Dish CEO Charlie Ergen hinted that the company has plans to expand on its most recent earnings call, saying “…it’s not just wireless spectrum and video. It’s going to be all kinds of other peripheral things that are going to come together.”
The wireless space is getting increasingly competitive, though. Last month Google unveiled its own wireless service called Project Fi, which lets you only pay for the data you use unlike other carriers. If Dish wants to compete with heavyweights such as Verizon, AT&T, and others, it will likely have to offer competitive advantages as well.
Although this is the first we’re hearing of Dish’s plans to offer wireless service, it’s not the first time the company has expressed interest in it. About one year ago, Business Insider discovered an FCC filing which revealed that Dish Network was partnering with Artemis Network — a startup that’s invented a new means of delivering wireless data that results in speeds that are said to be much faster than that of 4G LTE that also use less spectrum than today’s traditional cell towers. It’s called pCell, and it recently saw a limited launch in San Francisco.
We’ve reached out to Dish for this story and will update this post accordingly when we hear back.