Oklahoma-based rural operator Pioneer Cellular has reportedly expanded its Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage to five new markets across the state, namely: Alva, Canton, Fairview, Okeene and Woodward. RCR Wireless reports that as part of the cellco’s 4G plans it will cover more than 260,000 potential customers across 21 counties and 17,000 miles in central and western Oklahoma. Pioneer currently provides CDMA2000 1x EV-DO Rev A services in 37 counties across Oklahoma and 14 counties in southern Kansas.
Pioneer’s LTE deployment has been made possible through its participation in Verizon’s ‘LTE in Rural America’ programme, which it joined in December 2010. The aptly named operator became the first regional carrier to inaugurate a 4G network when it launched commercial services in April 2012. As part of the programme, Pioneer customers will have nationwide roaming access to Verizon Wireless’s LTE network, which is on track to cover the mobile giant’s 3G footprint by mid-2013.