Sprint Teams With Dish To Trial Wireless Broadband In Texas
December 18, 2013

Sprint, DISH Network To Trial Fixed Wireless Broadband Service In Texas

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Sprint is teaming up with its former takeover suitor, DISH Network, to test a high-speed wireless Internet service in Texas beginning next summer, the two companies announced on Tuesday.

The trial service will initially be offered to a limited number of customers in Corpus Christi, with plans to expand to other markets down the road, Sprint said. The fixed wireless broadband service would only cover a customer’s home or business, putting it in direct competition with landline Internet services such as those offered by Comcast and AT&T.

For home customers, DISH will install either an outdoor router or indoor equipment that utilizes the 4G TDD-LTE signal on Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum.

“With millions underserved by inadequate broadband, the potential to bring a high-speed fixed wireless solution is very compelling to both DISH and Sprint,” said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development.

“We both bring distinct skills, not the least of which for DISH is a workforce of professional technicians who visit thousands of homes every day performing professional installations for both video and broadband.”

The joint venture between Sprint and DISH indicates warming relations between the two firms following DISH’s failed attempt to outbid SoftBank Corp for control of Sprint, the nation’s third-largest wireless company.

DISH, the country’s second-largest satellite-TV provider, has spent about $3 million amassing its own airwaves to branch out into wireless service. The company could potentially save billions by putting its spectrum to use on an existing operators network, rather than building its own network from the ground up.

According to Reuters, while DISH declined to say if the Texas trial could lead to a broader agreement, Michael Schwartz, Sprint’s senior vice president of corporate and business development, said the partnership showed real potential.

“This trial with Dish has great potential as it combines the key capabilities and assets of both companies to provide another option to customers with limited broadband access,” he said.