Posted by Charbax on March 24th, 2008
Echostar owns around 20% of Archos stock, and they have just succeeded in buying a nearly national coverage of licences to deploy wireless broadband in the USA on the 700MHZ spectrum. Not only does that mean that Echostar can now deploy their own wireless broadband network to distribute video-on-demand directly to their set-top-boxes without being dependent on the established internet service providers, it also means Echostar can ask Archos to build for them a portable video player that will stream video directly over their 700Mhz WiMax networks.
They could also use their spectrum to build WiFi and WiMax mesh networks, thus blanketing the whole USA relativelty cheaply and rapidly with their own wireless broadband network. So customers who agree to install a little box outdoors next to their Dish Networks satellite dish, could then hookup to the central WiMax broadcaster and republish that signal to the whole nabourhood as Mesh networking of both the 700mhz signal and normal WiFi. Customers who would agree to install this free box could thus get a rebate on their Dish Network and wireless broadband subscription fees.
Another strategy could be for Echostar to use the established ADSL, Cable and Fiber networks that people already have gotten at home through established internet service providers and re-publish that Internet connection through the Ethernet plug of the set-top-box out to the nabourhood using the 700Mhz spectrum and WiFi. This way Echostar would basically just need to distribute set-top-boxes to cover a whole country with free wireless broadband. Other ISPs might complain that Echostar would be using their bandwidth, but that is the way Fon works today with a million users worldwide sharing their Internet connection using WiFi, and that way of doing wireless networking deployments might be approved and regulated into law by the politicians. As a means to lower the cost of deploying better and cheaper wireless broadband, supporting network neutrality which means ISPs should not be allowed to throttle or restrict in any ways how consumers use their internet connection.
Echostar should build their 700Mhz network in cooperation with Google, so that devices to use that 700Mhz spectrum also work in the unlicenced spectrum that Google is suggesting the FCC should be used for free wireless broadband.