Sprint and Dish Network have jointly announced plans to work with Dish Network on a new pilot program delivering fixed LTE broadband service to homes using Dish’s own hardware and installation infrastructure while Sprint will be providing the LTE connection through its 2.5GHz TDD-LTE network, currently being transitioned from Clearwire WiMax to LTE through Network Vision.
The pilot will be launched in Corpus Christi, Texas to test the viability of home LTE access delivered through standard DBS broadcast equipment with ruggedized outdoor router equipment where needed. Below a statement from Sprint Senior Vice-President of Corporate and Business Development Michael Schwartz:
“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. This demonstrates Sprint’s ongoing commitment to identify and develop new and innovative products and services that maximize the use and utility of our spectrum and flexible network infrastructure to the benefit of customers and shareholders.”
The Sprint-Dish LTE service will launch in select areas of Corpus Christi, with the goal of covering other markets should the venture prove successful. It should also be noted that Dish Network is also working on a nearly identical service with regional telecom nTelos for the Virgina area, though Dish Network maintains that both ventures are unrelated.
Neither Sprint nor Dish Network have clarified why they are working together now after the failed Dish Network bid to buy Sprint led to the majority stake purchase by SoftBank earlier this year, nor have Sprint and Dish Network.