Another rural operator has joined Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE in Rural America program.
Carolina West Wireless announced it has entered into an agreement as part of Clear Stream Communications to partner with Verizon. Verizon plans to partner with Clear Stream to cooperatively build and operate its LTE network in northwestern North Carolina using Clear Stream tower and backhaul assets and Verizon's core LTE equipment and spectrum. This will provide LTE coverage to Carolina West subscribers, as well as Verizon Wireless customers traveling through the area. In addition, Carolina West customers will have access to Verizon's LTE network throughout the United States.
The deal marks Verizon's eighth agreement since launching the rural program in December 2010. The program is designed to bring LTE coverage to rural markets faster than what Verizon could do by itself. The announcement with Carolina West came a day after Verizon announced that 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.
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.
- see this release
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