Are there just not enough bundled services in your life? Dish Network is betting there are customers out there who are going to jump at the chance to bundle up their pay TV satellite service with broadband Internet with a new nationwide plan. It already uses satellite broadband technology, but only in a few certain areas of the country.
BusinessWeek cites three insiders who say Dish will team up with its sister company EchoStar to execute the plan, in order to offer download speeds of around 5 megabits per second as an introductory package. EchoStar’s satellite can handle up to 15 mbps, but Dish is hoping it’ll need a lot of capacity to handle all its new customers — up to about 2 million. If it wants to get more Internet customers, it might have to make a bid to add more satellites.
Satellite technology has been changing lately, and has recently advanced enough to use higher-frequency bands for faster broadband to more people. More people equals more potential to make money, as well as offering consumers another choice in how they get their Internet.
Bundling of its services will also allow Dish to compete more directly with cable companies, so we doubt rivals like DirecTV and AT&T U-verse will be pleased with this move. And if the Federal Communications Commission approves its bid to use wireless spectrum to offer a quad-play — mobile Internet and phone service being the third and fourth services here — competitors will likely have to change up their games as well and really get serious about wooing and keeping customers.
Dish will likely offer the service starting in late September or early October to subscribers in rural areas who might not be able to get cable broadband — perhaps a welcome change for those customers.
Dish Network Said to Plan Nationwide Satellite Broadband [BusinessWeek]