Sprint Nextel Corp. has approached Dish Network Corp. about a partnership that would allow the satellite-TV company to offer mobile-phone service over the carrier’s network, according to a Bloomberg News report that cited two people familiar with the matter.
Under the potential arrangement, discussed in recent months, Overland Park-based Sprint would get access to Dish’s mobile airwaves, which aren’t currently being used, the people said. The companies could then share revenue from customers who sign up for a Dish wireless service, or Dish may pay Sprint a fee to use the network.
The deal would vault Dish into the mobile-phone market without it having to build its own network, letting the company offer wireless service to its 14 million satellite-TV customers. Dish, which publicly expressed interest in such partnerships, said it won’t decide until a regulatory ruling on its airwaves that may come as soon as next week.
Sprint declined to comment on Dish, though it said the company is generally interested in partnerships that would give it access to airwaves.