Verizon to roll out LTE to rural communities in the south and midwest

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Verizon announced this week that it was rolling out LTE to rural communities in select areas of the south and mid-western United State. The carrier is expanding its 4G service to less populous areas through its Rural America program As part of this program, local carriers partner with Verizon Wireless to expand 4G service. Verizon uses the local carrier’s cell towers and back haul to install their 4G antennas. The local carriers will lease the wireless service from Verizon Wireless and resell it to their customers. It’s a win-win situation as Verizon does not have to provide the towers or back haul and the local carriers do not have to supply or maintain the 4G equipment.

Thus far, several hundred organizations have shown interest in the Rural America program and six carriers have officially signed up. These carriers include Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Cross Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, Strata Networks and Thumb Cellular. Collectively, these carriers cover 1.8 million customers and span over 58,000 square miles in five states (Kentucky, Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin and Utah). This Rural America plan will help Verizon reach its 4G coverage goals which include a plan to roll out LTE to an additional 140 markets by the end of 2011 and to cover its entire 3G footprint by the end of 2013.

The full press release with all the details is available on the second page.

  • http://twitter.com/WillieFDiazSF William Diaz ?

    “As part of this program, local carriers partner with Verizon Wireless to expand 4G service. Verizon uses the local carrier’s cell towers and back haul to install their 4G antennas. The local carriers will lease the wireless service from Verizon Wireless and resell it to their customers. ”

    So from what Im gathering… Verizon is using other carriers towers and backhaul to use for themselves, then selling that back to the carrier for use? Using my own network then selling it back to me? Not right…

  • http://twitter.com/ggore Glenn Gore

    Pretty much. Verizon doesn’t have to actually build an LTE system except in the tiny little areas in major cities. All the rest of the infrastructure will be build by the small carriers, since people in their service areas are screaming for service of any kind, 1G 2G 3G or LTE, whatever, since they have been ignored by the major carriers for over 20 years now. In turn, Verizon customers will be able to travel outside their major cities and have their phones work.

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