Verizon Wireless has added a twelfth regional mobile operator to its ‘Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Rural America’ programme, after inking an agreement with Kentucky-based Appalachian Wireless. Under the terms of the agreement Verizon Wireless will lease the regional cellco spectrum in the 700MHz ‘Upper C’ block in any service areas where Verizon has opted not to roll out its own LTE network. Going forward, Appalachian Wireless will construct and operate a ‘fourth generation’ network in eastern Kentucky and parts of West Virginia, allowing it to serve both its own and Verizon customers, as well as users of other mobile operators participating in the ‘LTE in Rural America’ scheme. In addition, Appalachian Wireless customers will have access to Verizon Wireless’ LTE network throughout the US.
Verizon signed up its first ‘LTE in Rural America’ partner, Bluegrass Cellular, back in November 2010, and has subsequently agreed deals with: Chariton Valley Communications, Custer Telephone, Carolina West Wireless, S and R Communications, Cellcom, Cross Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, Strata Networks, Thumb Cellular and Convergence Technologies.