Verizon reportedly has acquired or is in the process of acquiring the LTE mobile network of Chariton Valley Communications Corporation, a small Missouri wireless provider that was a partner in the Verizon LTE in Rural America program. Verizon previously announced acquisitions or planned acquisitions of several other small wireless providers that participated in that program or LTE assets of those providers.
Light Reading uncovered FCC filings pertaining to the Verizon Chariton Valley deal, although neither company confirmed the deal.
The LTE in Rural America (LRA) program gave partner rural wireless providers the option of leasing LTE spectrum from Verizon and building and operating an LTE network using that spectrum. For the rural carriers, it offered an alternative to buying their own spectrum licenses and made it possible for the providers to use the same equipment that Verizon was using, potentially saving money and obtaining equipment more promptly.
For Verizon, the program eliminated the need to deploy LTE in the rural areas covered by its partners.
Verizon now would apparently like to own more of those assets, or perhaps the company envisioned eventually buying up those assets at the time the deals were made.
Other Verizon LRA Acquisitions
Another LTE in Rural America participant whose LTE assets Verizon has made plans to buy is Triangle Mobile of Montana. Verizon also purchased assets from LRA participant Bluegrass Cellular of Kentucky.
Another Verizon LRA deal involved Verizon purchasing the portion of Iowa RSA 2 Limited Partnership that it didn’t already own. The partnership’s offering was known as Chat Mobility.
At its peak, the Verizon LTE in Rural America program had 21 rural wireless carrier provider partners.
Chariton Valley Communications is also selling spectrum in the 700 MHz band to AT&T and PCS spectrum licenses to U.S. Cellular, according to the Light Reading report.