If you've been following the industry side of things when it comes to wireless you'll no doubt have heard that Dish is looking to get in on the wireless game and launch their own network for quite some time now. After trying a number of things that led to dead ends, it looks like the network has found a partner to team up with. That partner is nTelos, a small carrier that's ranked towards the bottom of the top 10 carriers in the US and operates out of Virginia, providing service for the Ohio River valley out of Kentucky and Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia as far North Carolina.
You might be wondering why Dish is looking to team up with a small time carrier like nTelos, but the carrier recently launched a LTE network that's doing fairly well in the region they operate and well, everyone has to start somewhere. nTelos is a CDMA carrier – like Sprint and Verizon – and has a good portion of spectrum in the 2 Ghz range of the AWS band and that neatly matches up with the spectrum that Dish has rights to. The two of them are looking to partner up and create a network that will offer service to a little over half a million residents.
It's unclear as to whether or not Dish will be selling service on their own, or continue to partner with nTelos but, the service will be included with Dish TV service and such. Which seems to be a big part of Dish's plan all along, to offer the complete package. The two networks will be first launching the service in Roanoke, Staunton, Waynesboro and Charlottesville as these are highly populated areas. While there's no concrete date for when this will go live, we can't imagine Dish wanting to drag their feet any longer. nTelos will continue to improve their LTE network going forward and this (along with another similar deal being worked on with Sprint) could be the start of Dish slowly but surely moving into the wireless game.