Dish Network Teams With Sprint In Wireless Broadband Test

Looks like the companies have buried the hatchet after Dish Network’s failed challenge this year to bids by Japan’s SoftBank for Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. Dish and Sprint said today that they will jointly test a fixed wireless broadband service in Corpus Christi, Texas that they expect to make available in mid-2014 “with a plan to expand into additional markets in the future.” Dish will offer customers an outdoor router or “an indoor solution” with high-gain antennas that can access the Internet via the 4G TDD-LTE signal on Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. Dish-watchers will be eager to see how well the companies get along. The No. 2 satellite provider has yet to fully explain what it will do with the wireless spectrum rights it has been amassing — and has said that it probably would need a partner to help fulfill its plans. Dish has spent about $3B on spectrum, and wants to acquire more. Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker says it’s a good business opportunity since as many as 20M homes are “underserved by wired broadband.” But she adds that “the biggest takeaway” is the partnership itself, which signals “a potential start to a new relationship.”

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