Newest Verizon LTE rural partner planning mobile payments solution

Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) latest rural partner in its LTE in Rural America program is a company that operates a wireline and fixed wireless CLEC business in rural Indian and Illinois but it also is involved in a number of other business, which includes a payment processing service called IP Pay.

Convergence Technologies Inc. (CTI) said in a release that adding LTE service is the "logical next evolution of CTI's business strategy." Like all of Verizon's rural LTE partners, CTI plans to lease Verizon's 700 MHz spectrum and built a rural LTE network in Indiana where Verizon won't build out itself. Interestingly, CTI will use portions of its recent $18 million broadband stimulus project to bring the service into Illinois and Indiana.

Interestingly, CTI plans to integrate the LTE service with its IP Pay payments platform to develop a mobile payments offering. "4G LTE technology will enable a variety of innovative value-added services within the mobile ecosystem," said CTI CEO Charles Wu. "CTI plans to capitalize on this by combining its 4G mobile carrier assets with its IP Pay payments platform, currently processing over $500 million in annual volume, to develop a mobile payments solution to address a market projected to exceed $280 billion in North America by 2014."

Verizon has made a slew of rural LTE partnership announcements in recent weeks. The operator has now signed deals with 10 rural players. Verizon's partners include Custer Telephone, Carolina West Wireless, S and R Communications, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Cross Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, Strata Networks and Thumb Cellular.

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

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