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2G/3G/4G

Dish Taps Sprint for 4G Trial in Texas

Dish revealed Tuesday that it plans to use Sprint's 4G spectrum to try out a fixed broadband service deep in the heart of Texas next year.

Sprint and Dish "plan to jointly develop and deploy a fixed wireless broadband service, on a trial basis, in Corpus Christi, TX that will be available in the middle of 2014," the pair said in a press release. "The service will initially be available in limited areas of Corpus Christi with a plan to expand into additional markets in the future."

Depending on location, Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) will install either a "ruggedized outdoor router" or an indoor system to beam broadband to the site. The service will use the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) 2.5GHz spectrum for Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) 4G service, sometimes called TD-LTE too. (See: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?)

Sprint said the service, which uses technology originally deployed by Clearwire, offers downloads of 50-60 Mbit/s at the moment. It can boost that download speed up to 2 Gbit/s over time through its Spark network overlay program.

Why this matters
Dish has its own spectrum that it could use for a fixed wireless service. The trial with Sprint, in which Dish was trying to grab a stake just a few months ago, suggests that it is easier for the operator to use someone else's network than build one on its own right now. Dish has a similar mobile broadband deal in place with the regional operator Ntelos Inc. (Nasdaq: NTLO)

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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