NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association members will have exclusive access to a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) platform from the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) under an agreement between the two organizations.
The agreement includes a waiver of up-front startup fees and provides access to provisioning, billing, ecommerce, and customer and logistics support services. These benefits are designed to help participating NTCA members to more easily add a mobile offering as an element of a bundle or as a standalone service, according to a press release issued by the NTCA.
Other exclusive benefits covered under the agreement include access to special financing for devices, an activation credit for new mobile subscribers, and marketing support, the NTCA said.
“NTCA and our telephone members know the value of mobile services, and NRTC’s mission is to make these solutions available to them,” NRTC CEO Tim Bryan said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to work with NTCA to offer a mobile offering that’s turnkey and financially viable for members to implement and operate, that enables them to expand their service offerings, and that strengthens their brand.”
In making the announcement, the NTCA made clear that it is not a party to any MVNO agreement between its members and the NRTC.
The NRTC is a cooperative of broadband and electric providers. In October, its members gained access to an MVNO from Telispire that enables bundling of broadband and wireless services. NRTC gained a controlling interest in Telispire in 2006 and subsequently acquired 100% of the company.
The NTCA represents more than 850 independent telecommunications companies nationwide. NRTC provides technology to more than 1,500 electric and telecommunications companies.
Full disclosure: NRTC acquired Pivot Group, which publishes Telecompetitor, in September.