Navajo Tribal Tribal Authority, Commnet Wireless formalize partnership to bring LTE to Navajo Nation

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Commnet Wireless formalized a partnership this week after the two entities secured $32.1 million in broadband stimulus funds in March.

The two have created NTUA Wireless LLC, of which the tribe has majority ownership. NTUA Wireless will offer 3G and 4G services through a deployment of hundreds of lines of new fiber optical cables and 59 microwave towers. The network is expected to cover nearly half of the tribe's 27,000 square miles. To receive its stimulus funding, the joint venture must complete 70 percent of the project by the first quarter 2012.

The partnership also calls for Commnet to develop and operate an LTE network covering the Navajo Nation and the rural roaming provider will offer last-mile services through its LTE network. This network will allow NTUA to supply both fixed and mobile customers with high-speed broadband access to more than 30,000 households (approximately 135,000 people) and 1,000 businesses in 15 of the largest communities in the Navajo Nation, including Window Rock, Shiprock, Kayenta, Chinle, and Tuba City. In addition, the project will provide high capacity connectivity on the combined middle-mile backbone to an additional 49 tribal communities.

For more:
- see this AP article
- read this release

Related articles:
Sacred Wind: Bringing WiMAX to the Navajo reservation
ZTE keeps focus on R&D, LTE deployments
Mobile broadband plans of rural operators

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