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DISH Invests in Broadband Satellite Chipset for Mobile Devices

11 June 2012

Dish announced a collaboration with Qualcomm to enable support of satellite-based communications in Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 platform, the world's first dual-core solution with an integrated multi-mode 3G/LTE modem, for use in future DISH wireless devices. The new satellite air interface technology developed by Qualcomm is a 3G-based standard referred to as Enhanced Geostationary Air Link (EGAL).

This initiative will enable the development of mobile handsets and devices for DISH that can operate in both terrestrial and satellite modes in the 2 GHz/AWS-4 band.

On June 1, the FCC closed its comment period regarding proposed rules that would provide additional flexibility for DISH to use their spectrum to deliver ground-based wireless broadband, in addition to the satellite and ancillary terrestrial communications the company is already licensed to provide.

DISH has called on the FCC to modify rules to facilitate widespread deployment of their spectrum for mobile use, as well as to preserve the mobile satellite service in this frequency.

"For DISH to be competitive in the wireless broadband space, it is critical that we are able to offer terrestrial broadband services to consumers," said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president. "In addition, we see opportunities to serve specialized markets across the nation with satellite communications capability."

"With the rulemaking still underway, the Qualcomm development funding is a risk-based investment, yet it is important for us to accelerate a long-term path to developing both the satellite and ground-based mobile markets," said Cullen. "The tailoring of this chipset to allow both modes of operation will give DISH the ability to support truly ubiquitous connectivity across the nation."

"Qualcomm is pleased to deliver this innovative technology to DISH, enabling new and differentiated broadband services for consumers," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President and President of Global Market Development at Qualcomm.

"DISH is committed to moving as rapidly as possible to bring additional wireless broadband to a spectrum-starved market," said Cullen. "We're confident in our ability to deliver a competitive wireless service while supporting mobile satellite communications services that will appeal to a variety of markets, including first-responders and disaster relief, as well as consumers and businesses in remote locations."