Sprint and Dish partner to trial wireless broadband in Texas

US operator Sprint Nextel and satellite provider Dish Network are to build an experimental fixed wireless broadband network in Texas, which will launch next year.

The network will be expanded to additional markets over time, and the move could be a sign that Dish is set to push ahead with plans to build a national wireless broadband LTE network.

Sprint’s latest partnership with Dish could be an indication that relations are beginning to improve between the two companies, after Dish failed to acquire Clearwire – which was bought out by Sprint – and a majority stake acquisition of Sprint itself, which was sold to Japan’s Softbank.

Based on TDD LTE, the trial network will be built in Corpus Christi, Texas, and will utilise Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum. Sprint is presently undergoing an infrastructure upgrade project to host other network operators on its cell sites.

“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,” said Michael Schwartz, SVP corporate and business development at Sprint.

Dish has made no secret of its intentions to enter into the wireless telephony market, and the company will deploy rooftop antennas in some locations as part of the agreement.

“With millions underserved by inadequate broadband, the potential to bring a high-speed fixed wireless solution is very compelling to both Dish and Sprint,” added Tom Cullen, head of corporate development at Dish.

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