Two more participants in Verizon Wireless’s LTE in Rural America program – Bluegrass Cellular and Strata Networks — have launched or will soon launch 4G LTE service. Through that program, Verizon leases spectrum to the rural carriers, who build out 4G LTE service in their markets, with the partners having roaming agreements with one another.
Bluegrass and Strata join at least two other Verizon rural partners – Cellcom and Pioneer Cellular– in launching LTE service. Verizon’s LTE in Rural America program had 17 participants as of May 2012 but some have not yet turned up their LTE network.
Bluegrass has turned up 4G LTE in the Kentucky cities of Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Glasgow, Radcliff and Bardstown; as well as Fort Knox, the I-65 corridor between Louisville and Nashville; and parts of Hardin, Hart, Nelson, Barren and Warren counties. Strata this month plans to launch service in parts of Utah’s Duchesne and Uintah counties. Both companies have plans for additional market launches moving forward.
But, according to the Bluegrass web page, neither that product nor the previously announced iPhone 4s will work on the LTE network, instead working only with 3G. Bluegrass is one of several Verizon rural LTE partners to carry the iPhone4s, but none of those offerings work with LTE.
Strata said it plans to offer four devices for use with LTE – including a MiFi hotspot, a USB dongle for connecting a laptop or personal computer, and two smartphones – the Motorola RAZR MAXX and the HTC Fireball. Bluegrass’s web page indicates that the company will sell an LTE version of the HTC Desire smartphone.
Strata joined the Verizon LTE in Rural America program in February of 2011. Bluegrass joined in November of 2010.