MTPCS, which operates under the venerable Cellular One brand in Montana, Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere, has become the latest rural wireless carrier to join the Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) Rural America program. The carrier's commitment makes it the eighteenth rural carrier to join the program.
Verizon, which two years ago launched the program for sharing 700 MHz spectrum with rural carriers for LTE, said in September that it expected to add six new Rural America partners by the end of the year. Just last week, Bluegrass Cellular in Kentucky became the third Rural America carrier to actually go live with its LTE network.
Under its agreement MTPCS, Verizon Wireless will lease its 700 MHz upper C Block wireless spectrum in parts of Angelina, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Sabine, and San Augustine counties in Texas. That will enable MTPCS to build an LTE network for its own customers and those of other Rural America carriers, while its own Cellular One customers get to use Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network throughout the United States.
The other carriers in the program include Bluegrass Cellular; Cross Telephone; Pioneer Cellular; Cellcom; Thumb Cellular; Strata Networks; S and R Communications; Carolina West; Custer Telephone Cooperative; Convergence Technologies; Chariton Valley Communication Corporation; Appalachian Wireless; Northwest Missouri Cellular; Chat Mobility; Matanuska Telephone Association; Sagebrush Cellular; and Copper Valley Telecom.
- here's the MTPCS release
Verizon expects 6 rural LTE carrier partners to launch by year-end
Bluegrass Cellular launches service through Verizon's rural LTE program