DirecTV To Announce Wireless Broadband Plans… Soon

from the all-in-your-own-time dept

As part of the speech in which he announced a plan for MySpace, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch also said the company would detail DirecTV’s wireless broadband plans within the next two months. Murdoch says the company could invest $1 billion in some sort of broadband network, confirming earlier rumors that the company was eyeing the market. Speculation still holds that the company will build a WiMAX network, but whatever DirecTV does, it’s hard to see it acting alone, as $1 billion doesn’t buy a lot of spectrum these days. In any case, all these rumors and speculation are plenty of fun, but talk is cheap. The wireless broadband market is ready for some real competition — so let’s see some action.

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Comments on “DirecTV To Announce Wireless Broadband Plans… Soon”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Who wants to trust DirecTV for their broadband - a

In the early days of home broadband, I had satellite internet from DirecTV called DirecPC. DirecTV was eventually sued due to their poor management of the customer support and their illegal (as determined by the court) limiting of bandwidth to people who were paying for “unlimited internet access”.

After living with dial up for a year or so, I requested a 768K/768K symetrical DSL line through a company called Telocity. It worked great – couldn’t complain about anything…

DirecTV wanted to get into the non-satellite broadband market and they bought up Telocity. they changed us to a 768/256K assymetrical DSL for the same price.

Approximately a year later they hit a financial hard spot and immediately jettisoned all of their not-a-huge-profit business units, which included their DirecTV DSL service.

Thousands of customers were given very little notice (less than 60 days) and the only option we were given was to switch to SBC-Yahoo! DSL, who had been providing the last mile to our homes all along. SBC refused to allow me to buy DSL from them since my home phone service wasn’t through them and they totally ignored the fact that I currently had SBC DSL coming into my home – so sorry, if you won’t pay a premium price for home phone service – you can’t have DSL.

At that point I switched to a cable modem which I’ve been using ever since.

After being screwed by them twice, I won’t rely on DirecTV to provide me anything ever again.

alaric says:

Needs $8-12 billion

$1 billion is nothing. If you want to build out a national fixed wireless network from scratch, you need $8-12 billion and possibly more.

The equipment alone is going to run over $5 billion and spectrum is quite expensive.

$1 billion is great if rupert intends to build a network to service select portions of middle of no where but its not going to do much for wimax. Then again perhaps rupert believes he can deploy wimax with 30 mile cells.

Just like fox, i’ve reported and I’ve decided. This ain’t happening and it will not work if it does anyway.

RevMike (user link) says:

Re: Needs $8-12 billion

$1 billion is nothing. If you want to build out a national fixed wireless network from scratch, you need $8-12 billion and possibly more.

The equipment alone is going to run over $5 billion and spectrum is quite expensive.

How much to piggy-back on an already built network? Sprint has a pretty extensive EvDO network in most major markets. The spectrum is already purchased, the towers are in place, etc. $1 billion would probably go a long way toward completing the build out.

For that matter, T-Mobile has their EDGE network. Again, a billion goes a long way toward extending the reach of an already developed infrastructure.

RevMike (user link) says:

DirecTV - Broadband move makes sense

A major barrier to DirecTV taking more market share from cable is the fact that cable can offer bundled TV/Cable Modem packages. Very few people are willing to buy both seperately. Satelite broadband has its place, but isn’t a great solution in that its latency virtually eliminates its use for VoIP.
DirecTV has been partnering with ILECs to bundle their DSL products with the TV product, but it is a less than stable relationship considering that the phone companies want to distribute their own TV content.
A move like this, or perhaps a partnership with a wireless provider without an ILEC investment like Sprint makes a lot of sense. TV plus WiMax/EvDO service or a successor technology allows DirecTV to fight the cable companies more successfully.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: FYI: You don't buy WiMax spectrum

The point of WiMax is that there is no spectrum costs. That’s the whole purpose of the technology.

Er, yes and no. WiMax will work in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, but it’s HIGHLY unlikely that a company like DirecTV would try to use unlicensed spectrum, where they’d face all sorts of interference challenges. Almost every commercial WiMax offering will focus on licensed spectrum, and that’s not cheap.

Edward Case says:

Murdoch WiMax Plans

I agree that $1 billion USD is not enough to build out a nationwide WiMax network. But look for Murdoch to put the $1 billion USD into a venture like Craig McCaw’s Clearwire. Then it is McCaw, Intel, Bell Canada and Murdoch that goes to the public offering market next. McCaw has been quietly acquiring plenty of 2.5 GHz spectrum and combine that with his MSS spectrum and the terrestrial component and he can solve many of Direct TV’s initial two way problems. Look for it to happen shortly.

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