Partnership’s first fruits expands 4G LTE access in Wisconsin, Oklahoma
Two rural mobile carriers in the Verizon LTE in Rural America (LRA) program recently launched 4G LTE wireless broadband networks. They are the first of 17 participants in the program designed to accelerate the rollout and adoption of 4G LTE services in rural areas.
On May 1, Cellcom launched its network in two markets in northern Wisconsin, and Pioneer Cellular activated its network in the northwestern portion of Oklahoma. Customers of Cellcom, Pioneer Cellular and Verizon Wireless can roam on each other’s 4G LTE networks. The two rural carriers were among the first companies to join the LRA program, which began in 2010.
LRA program participants lease spectrum from Verizon Wireless and build their own networks, enabling them to offer 4G LTE services more quickly and more economically than might otherwise possible. A dedicated team of Verizon Wireless technology experts works directly with the rural carriers as they develop and deploy their networks.
Six additional carriers are expected to launch their networks later in 2012, followed by at least nine additional launches in 2013.
In May 2010, Lowell McAdam, now chairman and CEO of Verizon, laid out a vision of collaboration with rural carriers to accelerate the deployment of rural wireless broadband services. Since that time, Verizon has signed 17 participants to the program, including existing CDMA carriers, rural telephone companies and wireless internet service providers.
These leases cover more than 2.7 million people in 14 states, and represent an area larger than New Mexico and Maryland combined. LRA participants lease valuable 700 MHz radio spectrum from Verizon and leverage our investment in core network technology.