Englewood, Colo. – Satellite-TV provider Dish and wireless broadband service provider nTelos Holding have deployed and started testing a new broadband service in rural Virginia using wireless spectrum in the 2.5GHz range.
The companies Thursday reported broadband service speeds at the initial test sites ranging from 20Mbps to more than 50Mbps.
As part of the demonstration, nTelos and Dish have activated two wireless tower test sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have provided equipment and assisted in the installation.
In a statement, the companies said the trial is different from prior fixed broadband services because it relies on professionally installed rooftop devices at customers’ homes that are intended to deliver significant gain and throughput advantages over inside-the-home antenna solutions.
Dish said it has deployed BandRich ruggedized outdoor routers with built-in high-gain antennas to receive the 2.5GHz LTE signal.
“With nearly a fifth of American households underserved by broadband, a fixed wireless solution delivering true broadband speeds will bring improved broadband options to potentially millions of consumers,” said Tom Cullen, Dish corporate development executive VP. “Dish has a nationwide workforce of professional technicians that can be dispatched to install both a satellite dish for our video service and an antenna for broadband on the same roof at the same time.”
Dish and nTelos have not disclosed details on the duration of the trial service or plans for expansion beyond the test sites.