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Dish Network Considers Cell Phone Partner

Dish Network Corp, which is the second biggest provider of satellite TV in the whole of the United States, is contemplating purchasing or partnering with a wireless carrier such as Clearwire Corp or Sprint Nexel Corp, says the firm’s chief executive officer, Joseph Clayton.

“We’ll look at partnerships, acquisitions, all of the above,” Clayton acknowledged during the course of an interview in San Francisco over the weekend.  Asked directly whether that could include the likes of Sprint or Clearwire, he offered a non-committal “Could be”.

A wireless network is important for Dish Network Corp in order for it to be able to make use of the spectrum it has gotten hold of during its deals for Terrestar Networks Inc and DBSD North America Inc, which were announced this year.  In August, Dish Network Corp filed for permission from the United States government to begin offering its customers mobile high speed internet service.  If approval is received from the government, it would enable the company to start to build a network.  “There are several missing pieces,” Clayton notes.  “Wireless infrastructure, additional technology capabilities and even distribution are pieces that we’re still working on.  Stay tuned.”

Sprint is currently the third biggest wireless carrier in the United States but has begun struggling in recent times against its larger rivals, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, losing money for the last 15 quarters in a row.