& cplSiteName &

Sprint Adds First 12 LTE Rural Roaming Partners

Sarah Thomas
6/16/2014
100%
0%

Sprint has signed up its first dozen rural partners for the joint LTE roaming consortium it announced back in March.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), in conjunction with the NetAmerica Alliance LLC and Competitive Carriers Association, said in March that it would form low-cost roaming agreements with rural wireless operators that lack the funding, spectrum, and devices to deploy LTE. (See Sprint Joins Forces With Rural America on LTE.)

By doing so, it would ostensibly help accelerate the availability of 4G networks in rural America, increase competition, and expand Sprint's own footprint in areas where it lacks coverage. The mutual benefits won it a spot on Light Reading's Leading Lights short list for Best Dealmaker of 2014. (See Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Best Deal Maker).

The program, Small Market Alliance for Rural Transformation (SMART), which already included a roaming deal with Ntelos Inc. (Nasdaq: NTLO), now adds CCA members Southern Communications Services Inc. , C Spire , Nex-Tech Wireless , SI Wireless dba MobileNation, Inland Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, Carolina West Wireless, James Valley Telecommunications, VTel Wireless, and Phoenix Wireless.

NetAmerica says it has completed preliminary agreements with 14 companies and is in talks with around 40 more in 12 states.

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Sprint's parent SoftBank Corp. , said at the CCA show back in March that he'd help fund rural America's LTE deployments if need be. However, Sprint didn't reveal any financial terms with its first dozen participants. (See Rural Carriers: SoftBank Will Fund Your LTE.)

One name missing from the list is T-Mobile US Inc. , Sprint's acquisition target. As a CCA member that also lacks rural LTE coverage, T-Mobile is a likely candidate to join. Even if did merge with Sprint, they wouldn't have a sufficient rural footprint on their own. (See Sprint & T-Mobile: A Tale of Two Maps.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
billho888
50%
50%
billho888,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/16/2014 | 5:08:10 PM
Re: coverage
The benefit for Sprint is to extend their 800 and PCS footprint, thereby making their 'map' a little bigger. Is TNS the roaming clearing house?


Shouldn't be a surprise for SouthernLinc as they have similar interests in the 800 band for operations and LTE upgrading.

 
sarahthomas1011
50%
50%
sarahthomas1011,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/16/2014 | 4:38:54 PM
coverage
So these 12 operators combined cover 34 million people in 23 states, which should help Sprint out a lot, even with some overlap. They won't be Spark areas, but LTE will be a big improvement over what they have available today, most likely.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
US Investigating Huawei for Sanctions Violations – Report
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/25/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
What's in the Box?
By Huawei
Beginning With the End In Mind
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives