Verizon will partner with tower companies, backhaul firms on rural LTE

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched a new website that provides more information on its plans to partner with rural operators to bring LTE services to rural America. Interestingly, on the website--"LTE in Rural America"--Verizon said it is interested in partnering with firms that own towers or provide backhaul services, in addition to rural operators.

Verizon’s new rural LTE website clearly lays out the carrier’s LTE plans.Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the carrier launched the site to make information available to all the companies and organizations that have expressed interest in working with Verizon to bring LTE to rural America.  

Rural Cellular Association President Steven Berry said the group is pleased Verizon recognizes rural carriers as essential to bringing LTE to rural America. However, he said the association is still concerned that Verizon is only interested in partnerships that will benefit its bottom line by filing in current coverage gaps rather than finding solutions to data roaming, 700 MHz spectrum interoperability and handset availability.

"We can work to bring interoperable, 4G services to all rural Americans, not just the select few that Verizon is willing to partner with, through data roaming agreements, by ending handset exclusivity and allowing a full build out of the 700 MHz spectrum," Berry said.

 For more:
- see Verizon's LTE in Rural America website 
- see this ars technica article
- see this release

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