The Verizon Rural LTE program is picking up a little steam, with the announcement that Cross Telephone is the latest rural service provider to partner with Verizon for 4G LTE services. Cross joins fellow Oklahoma service provider Pioneer Cellular and Bluegrass Cellular of Kentucky as program participants.

“We have a great understanding of our community’s needs.   The LTE in Rural America program ensures that we will be able to efficiently serve our community by offering the benefits and the blazing fast speed of 4G wireless broadband to rural Oklahoma.   We are proud to be able to offer our customers the same state of the art LTE network capabilities that are being deployed in larger urban markets in the United States and around the world,”  said V. David Miller, President of Cross in a press release.

Although specific details surrounding this partnership program have not been revealed, generally speaking, Verizon will lease 700 MHz upper C-block spectrum to their rural partners. Those partners then construct an LTE network in areas that Verizon does not intend to serve, providing mobile broadband services under their own brand. Rural partner customers can then roam onto Verizon’s nationwide network and vice-versa.

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Verizon previously informed Telecompetitor that they had agreements in principle with five rural carriers for the program. Of those five, they now have these three ‘definitive’ agreements in place, Verizon spokeswoman Robin Nicol tells me via email.

There is no timetable for when those additional carriers who are ‘principal’ agreement with Verizon, move to the ‘definitive’ stage.

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