Utopian Wireless, John Muleta's Atelum to test TD-LTE service in 2.5 GHz in Charlottesville

Utopian Wireless Corp. and Atelum LLC announced an agreement to launch a trial of a TD-LTE wireless broadband service in Charlottesville, Va. The trial will use Utopian's 2.5 GHz licensed spectrum and aims to test new service delivery models and provide insight regarding how millennials use wireless broadband.

Service will launch next year and will be available to more than 10,000 households in an undetermined location in the Charlottesville area as well as on the grounds of the University of Virginia. Off-the-shelf devices including phones, tablets and laptops will be provided to users.

The companies said they're finalizing site selection as well as engineering and network design plans.

"The Charlottesville community is bustling with the energy of the University's students and we want to tap into that to understand how we can best serve the upcoming generation with affordable and useful broadband services," Atelum CEO John Muleta, a UVA graduate and founding member of the School of Engineering's Entrepreneurial Advisory Board, said in a prepared statement. A former FCC official, Muleta also noted the school's focus on healthcare, cybersecurity and consumer apps, adding that the companies plan to develop "new service concepts" that could be deployed via LTE in other markets.

Utopian is a 9-year-old, Washington-based company focused on leveraging unused spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band for users in suburban and rural areas.

Little is known about Atelum, a self-described "technology transfer firm" specializing in mobile and web services platforms, based in Virginia. Atelum owns a stake in SNR Wireless, one of three entities through which Dish Network participated in the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction earlier this year. And Muleta was the founder of the failed M2Z Networks, which nearly a decade ago asked the FCC for 25 megahertz of vacant spectrum in the 2155 MHz to 2175 MHz band to offer free wireless broadband service.

For more:
- read this press release

Related articles:
Dish's road to $3.33B in AWS-3 discounts included a complex web of investments
Mobile broadband plans of rural operators