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Sprint in talks with Dish on broadband partnership

Softbank Corp CEO Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
Softbank Corp CEO Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

By Marina Lopes

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Sprint Corp is in talks with Dish Network Corp on a fixed wireless broadband partnership, the chairman of Sprint Corp told Reuters on Thursday.

"They have the satellite and we have the network that we can collaborate on. We are looking at a technology alliance and we are doing some tests together," Masayoshi Son, the billionaire CEO of SoftBank who gained control of Sprint Corp last year, said on the sidelines of a conference in San Antonio.

Earlier this month, Son called the U.S. wireless market an oligopoly plagued by slow speeds and high prices and said Sprint could shake up the competition, but it would require a scale that Sprint cannot reach alone.

Sprint said in December they are developing a trial wireless service in Texas and Son's comment on Thursday indicates that partnership is still ongoing.

The service will only be available in Corpus Christi, Texas by the middle of this year. The companies expect to expand to other markets, though on Thursday Dish and Sprint did not comment on the expansion.

(Corrects first paragraph and headline to clarify that Masayoshi Son was speaking in his capacity as Sprint chairman, not as Softbank CEO.)

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Meredith Mazzilli)

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