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What's Dish Planning With Its New Spectrum?

Stocks in this article: DISHGOOGVZTTWC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Dish Networks (DISH) just received approval for some of what it wants to do with its new wireless spectrum. In a swap with Verizon (VZ), Dish received 40 MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-4) frequencies. And now it's trying to figure out exactly what to do with it.

One thought was that it would use it to add services to its satellite TV offerings. But now, there are rumors that Dish is investigating the possibilities of partnering with others. And that could turn out to be big news.

The Wall Street Journal is suggesting that Dish is in very preliminary talks with Google (GOOG) to plan use of that spectrum. Dish could be in need of a strong partner to make the best use of those new frequencies.

Google currently oversees a few cool operating systems (Android, Chrome OS), a huge number of smartphones and tablets which run on those software offerings (including devices from its Motorola division), a very popular Web browser and a fiber-optic TV/Internet service which is just beginning to take hold (in Kansas City - its first market). Being able to offer/add its own wireless service component might give competitors AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) fits.

And Google might not be the only one interested in Dish's new bounty. Chairman Charles Ergen will only hint that there's more than one potential partner that might benefit from using Dish's new AWS band. Ergen also noted that it might be better if Dish joined forces with a company which already has a wireless infrastructure in place.

To confuse matters even further, a few months ago Ergen announced a wireless partnership with Sprint (S) and T-Mobile - both of which have since announced pertnership deals with other companies.

None of the companies involved has commented on the situation.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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