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Dish Enlists Qualcomm to Build Chipset for Wireless Devices

Dish Network Corp., the second-largest U.S. satellite-TV company, is investing in technology for new mobile devices such as phones and tablets as it waits for government approval to enter the wireless industry.

The company is collaborating with Qualcomm Inc. to develop 3G-based chipsets for future Dish wireless devices that can run in both satellite and terrestrial modes, the Englewood, Colorado-based company said in an statement. Dish didn’t say how much the partners were spending on the project.

Dish is seeking government approval to use satellite spectrum to offer ground-level wireless service, putting the company in closer competition with Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. Chairman Charlie Ergen said last month he expects a ruling from the Federal Communications Commission by the end of the summer.

“With the rule-making still under way, the Qualcomm development funding is a risk-based investment, yet it is important for us to accelerate a long-term path to developing both the satellite and ground-based mobile markets,” Thomas Cullen, an executive vice president at Dish, said in the statement.

Dish could bundle mobile service with its existing satellite-TV offerings to better compete with cable and telecommunications companies. Ergen and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Clayton have said they also are seeking a wireless-industry partner with an existing network that could use Dish’s spectrum, given FCC approval.

Dish fell 1.4 percent to $27.52 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 3.4 percent this year. Qualcomm, the biggest maker of chips for mobile phones, dropped 1.7 percent to $57.79 and has gained 5.7 percent this year.

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