Amazon, Dish reportedly discussing wireless partnership

After spending the past decade acquiring airwaves, Dish is reportedly looking for a partner to help it finally deploy a wireless network.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Dish Network and Amazon are reportedly in talks to forge a partnership in the wireless business. The latest on the discussions, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, follows a May report from Satellite Business News.

While no deal is imminent, Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have discussed how Amazon could serve as a "founding partner" of a new Dish wireless network, the Journal says. For instance, Amazon could help finance Dish's plans to build an IoT network, or it could give Amazon Prime members a deal on Dish connectivity or phone plans.

Dish has discussed a wireless partnership with other companies in addition to Amazon, the Journal reports.

The deal could benefit Amazon in a number of ways, such as helping to ensure strong connectivity for the Amazon Echo or Amazon Dash buttons. In a deal announced earlier this year, Dish became the first TV provider to offer direct compatibility with Amazon's Alexa.

Amazon could also use the new Dish network to help operate the delivery drones it eventually plans to deploy.

Dish, meanwhile, needs to build a network to deploy the wireless spectrum it's acquired over the years. After spending more than $21 billion over 10 years on spectrum, the company now faces pressure from the Federal Communications Commission to put its airwaves to use within the next few years.

The potential deal comes as tech giants, cable companies and telecom carriers all ready for the proliferation of mobile and machine-to-machine connections. Charter Communications and Comcast, for instance, may try to boost their wireless offerings through a deal with Sprint.

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