Verizon Wireless announces 7th rural LTE carrier deal, with S and R Communications

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) announced its seventh rural carrier partner that has joined its LTE in Rural America program, and this operator has never offered wireless service.

Indiana-based S and R Communications--a joint venture between two rural landline telecom companies, Swayzee Communications and Rochester Telephone Co.--plans to lease Verizon's 700 MHz spectrum and build a fiber and tower network to deliver LTE services.

"We believe we will bring a skill set and rural market understanding that will bridge the gap between wireless and small independent landline companies in our area," said Tim Miles, president of Swayzee Communications, in a release.

Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Cross Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, Strata Networks and Thumb Wireless have to date leased spectrum from Verizon covering, in total, more than 1.8 million people and nearly 58,000 square miles in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin and Utah.

Through the LTE in Rural America program, Verizon is working with rural operators to  build and operate LTE networks in their areas using the tower and backhaul assets of the rural company and Verizon's core LTE equipment and 700 MHz spectrum. In addition, customers of participating companies will have access to Verizon's nationwide LTE network and those of other carriers in the program. Verizon customers also will be able to roam onto LTE networks built by program participants.

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

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