Google Rumored to Partner with Dish on New Wireless Carrier

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 6 Comments

Citing multiple sources, The New York Post is reporting that Google is looking at creating a fourth U.S. wireless carrier with Dish Network in the wake of an expected $26 billion Sprint/T-Mobile merger.

That said, there are a few different opinions as to the truth of this rumor.

“There’s no question they are talking,” one source told the publication.

“These claims are simply false,” a Google spokesperson told The New York Post. “Google is not having any conversations with Dish about creating a wireless network.”

That seems pretty clear-cut. But the Post says that with Dish set to acquire some T-Mobile assets as part of an agreement that should get the Sprint/T-Mobile merger past regulators, it is talking to Google about bringing in its Google Fi assets to create a new wireless carrier.

Microsoft fans may be interested to know that former Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who was once a front-runner for the Microsoft CEO position, is involved in the Google/Dish plans too.

The Post notes that these plans are only about “halfway there” and “are in flux and could still fall apart.” And that Deutsche Telekom, the T-Mobile parent company, is against the Google partnership. But the U.S. government is allegedly “not really concerned” about Google playing a role in a major wireless network.

“The cloud is becoming more reliant on the last-mile providers,” BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk told the publication. “It’s in Google’s interest to make sure the last-mile provider is inexpensive.”

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Google Rumored to Partner with Dish on New Wireless Carrier”

  1. Chris_Kez

    BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk is also quoted as saying he thinks Google sees this as a way to boost their cloud computing business which lags behind Microsoft and Amazon. I'm not sure exactly how Google Cloud benefits from a Google-owned cellular network, unless Google is prioritizing that traffic. This seems like a weak bit of analytic conjecture. I think the main benefit for Google is simply driving more internet usage and having more data about it (as well as all the location data).

  2. Pbike908

    Folks say Charlie Ergen of Dish is extremely difficult to partner with. Google is such a cash machine, I can't see them taking a back seat to Ergen and Egen's nature makes it unlikely that he would surrender control.


    True the Feds are all over Ergen to use his spectrum, however, the only way Ergen will take a back seat is the Feds threaten to take away his spectrum unless he agrees to sell it someone else. Ergen doesn't have the cash nor the technical expertise to build a competitive network.

    • mike2thel73

      In reply to Pbike908:

      which is why I think there is a possibility that if Google gives him the right number of dollars he might just decide to sell his assets all together and Google becomes the 4th major cellular player taking over for Sprint; however, I just don't see how Deutsch Telekom would agree to any agreement where there is a 4th player altogether, especially to the likes of Google.


      This is probably short sighted but if I were Deutsch Telekom, I would just let sprint fail all together...but I don't know what the fallout would be and who would pick up the pieces if that were to happen and if that would be even worse for T-Mobile.

      • Pbike908

        In reply to Mike2thel73:


        Google would be crazy to have controlling interest in a carrier. It's one thing to be an MVNO. Talk about scrutiny from anti-trust folks. Not to mention how on earth is Google going to sell phones through existing carriers if Google themselves is a carrier?


        The only thing Google may be discussing with Dish is a continued relationship with Dish for Project Fi.


        I do concur with you that Tmobile's best bet would be to simply let Sprint fail all together. I can't see why DT would want to close this deal under the stipulation that it set up another deep pocketed competitor.

  3. Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

    I think both sets of information are likely correct. Google's not in talks to start a NEW wireless carrier, but with Dish acquiring spectrum from T-Mobile, a company Google was relying on for Fi, some of that spectrum may be valuable to partner to access as an additional network beyond T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Alternatively, they may be looking to share ownership of Fi with Dish in order to gain fuller access to that spectrum, which again would technically mean they are not in discussion to start a new carrier.

  4. OldITPro2000

    “These claims are simply false,” a Google spokesperson told The New York Post. “Google is not having any conversations with Dish about creating a wireless network.”


    They may simply be picking their words carefully. Google doesn't need to have a conversation with Dish about creating a wireless network if they intend to buy all of Dish's allocated spectrum and then build their own network.

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