Following a successful initial deployment in June 2013, DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NTLS) announced today that nTelos and a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH have executed an agreement to expand their pilot program to co-develop a fixed wireless broadband service. DISH and nTelos plan to offer the service commercially on a limited trial basis in markets where the two companies have a high concentration of customers. The trial markets include Roanoke, Staunton, Waynesboro and Charlottesville, Va. The companies are targeting early 2014 for rollout, with trial services potentially reaching up to half-a-million homes.
“Results from the first phase of our trial were encouraging,” said James A. Hyde, CEO of NTELOS Holdings Corp. “By combining forces and leveraging our collective assets, we have been able to successfully deliver fixed wireless broadband service with competitive throughput and speeds. Expanding the trial will give us the opportunity to stress test the network for coverage and reliability, and to further evaluate the viability of a full commercial launch.”
“DISH has unique capabilities to support fixed broadband and is excited to move to the next phase of this trial,” said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development. “With nearly a fifth of U.S. households underserved by broadband, a fixed wireless solution could deliver an additional broadband option to millions of consumers.”
Following a similar approach used in the initial deployment, nTelos and DISH will install outdoor routers designed to receive a 2.5 GHz LTE signal. These units are Ethernet connected to a wireless router in the home, facilitating broadband Internet access throughout the premises.
NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NTLS), operating through its subsidiaries as "nTelos Wireless," is headquartered in Waynesboro, VA, and provides high-speed, dependable nationwide voice and data coverage for approximately 455,000 retail subscribers based in Virginia, West Virginia and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. The Company's licensed territories have a total population of approximately 7.9 million residents, of which its wireless network covers approximately 6.0 million residents. The Company is also the exclusive wholesale provider of wireless digital PCS services to Sprint Corporation in the Company's western Virginia and West Virginia service area for all Sprint CDMA wireless customers.