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UPDATE 1-Sprint, Dish to test wireless broadband service in Texas

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 9:46 AM ET

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Wireless service provider Sprint Corp and satellite television company Dish Network Corp said on Tuesday they would jointly develop a fixed wireless broadband service on a trial basis in Texas using Sprint's wireless airwaves.

The agreement appeared to be a sign of thawing relations between the two after Dish tried to buy Sprint earlier this year but was beaten by Japan's SoftBank Corp, which owns 80 percent of Sprint after a bitter battle.

Dish, which has spent about $3 billion on wireless airwaves and is looking to buy more, has made no secret of seeking either a partnership or an acquisition of an existing mobile provider to help it enter the wireless market.

Sprint, for its part, has long said that it would be open to network sharing partnerships with other companies, including Dish.

They said their wireless service would be available in limited areas of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the middle of 2014 and is expected to be expanded to other markets.

Dish said it would install either an outdoor router or indoor equipment for the service, and use a high-speed technology Sprint is putting in its own network.

Sprint shares rose 5 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $8.36 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange, while Dish shares were up 68 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $54.325 on Nasdaq.

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