US round-up: Instant Karma as WiMAX MVNO switches to LTE; Sprint-DISH tie-up launches in Texas; T-Mobile to use 1900MHz PCS spectrum for LTE

25 Sep 2014

US mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Karma is set to launch its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) hotspot, called Karma Go, Fierce Wireless reports. While the company previously only offered its service over Sprint Corp’s Clearwire WiMAX network, it has now switched to the telco’s tri-band LTE network. However, WiMAX devices will still be supported for another year, possibly until 2016 depending on the demand. CEO Steven van Wel also noted that the MVNO has doubled its user base since November 2013, with 100,000 customers currently on its books.

The long-promised collaboration between Sprint and satellite TV giant DISH Network has come to fruition in Corpus Christi, Texas, with the two companies unveiling a fixed-wireless LTE-based service that utilises Sprint’s 2.5GHz network. DISH notes that the service will provide download speeds of up to 10Mbps, and will cost USD30 per month when bundled with its satellite-TV service, or USD40 per month on a standalone basis. In its press release, DISH said its technicians ‘will install ruggedized outdoor routers with high-gain antennas just like they install outdoor satellite dishes’.

T-Mobile US plans to enhance its LTE network coverage footprint over the next year using its 1900MHz PCS spectrum, senior vice president of technology Dave Mayo told Fierce Wireless. Mayo said that T-Mobile has used AWS spectrum for its urban and suburban LTE deployments, but will use 1900MHz spectrum for rural LTE coverage, in an effort to bring LTE to its entire 2G EDGE footprint by mid-2015. The 1900MHz LTE deployment is ‘almost exclusively an equipment rip [and replace] on existing sites,’ he added.