Artemis, the company pushing pCell wireless network technology, today announced it will lease spectrum in San Francisco from Dish Network for its first deployment.
Dish will lease H Block spectrum for up to two years so that Artemis can test and, pending FCC approval, launch a commercial service in San Francisco.
pCell promises greater capacity than traditional LTE network deployments by combining interfering radio waves to create a personal cell spot for each user, allowing them to access the full capacity of the signal.
To access the service, Artemis says users will need an Artemis SIM which can be inserted into existing LTE devices like the iPhone 6 or spectrum-compatible Android phones. Those devices will then connect to soon-to-be-available pWave remote radio heads for outdoor, and the Artemis I Hub, which uses 32 distributed antennas, for indoor.
The company is now touting 35x the spectral efficiency of conventional LTE networks.
If the trials are successful, Artemis’ pCell could provide a breakthrough solution to the ongoing spectrum crunch, validated by the record $45 billion spent in the FCC’s latest spectrum auction.
For Dish, one of the largest bidders in that auction and owner of a large portfolio of spectrum licenses, the agreement serves as an actual wireless network deployment on its spectrum.
Dish swept the 2014 H Block auction and won big again in the AWS-3 auction, which began in 2014 and ended in 2015. That spectrum joins Dish’s current holdings in AWS-4 and 700 MHz.
Dish has yet to offer a clear idea of what it will do with its spectrum, but the company and its co-founder Charlie Ergen—who just reassumed the CEO role—have been adamant about breaking into the wireless industry.