NetAmerica expands rural LTE footprint with new members

The NetAmerica Alliance, which has teamed with independent 700 MHz and AWS spectrum license holders that agree to build out their regions using LTE as part of a consortium, announced two new members, Peoples Telephone Cooperative of Quitman, Texas, and Gilmer, Texas-based Etex Telephone Cooperative.

When NetAmerica announced its formation earlier this year, the organization said it had four rural carrier members representing 1 million pops.

NetAmerica wants to give member rural network operators improved buying power, nationwide branding, 24/7 network monitoring, 4G core network elements and other services. NetAmerica made a deal with Ericsson in March that calls for the world's largest vendor to offer LTE radio functionality, evolved packet core, IP multimedia subsystem and a family of LTE-centric home and small business gateways for its members.

While not a license holder itself, Etex took advantage of NetAmerica's license development program to acquire license rights from another carrier that allows the cooperative to provide coverage in its serving area.

"Part of the benefit of joining the alliance is the ability to work in partnership with other carriers who may own license rights in certain geographies, but may not be interested in developing those specific areas themselves," Danny Keller, General Manager of Etex, said in a release. "We acquired the license rights from Peoples and are now able to provide our customers advanced 4G services. It is a win-win for all those involved and it would not have been possible without NetAmerica."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Telecompetitor article

Related articles:
Ericsson, NetAmerica aim to create economies of scale for rural LTE networks
Data roaming battle heats up ahead of FCC's April meeting
FCC considers cell booster ban
Smaller operators call on FCC to act on data roaming mandate
T-Mobile, AT&T deadlock on 3G data roaming deal

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