Looking to leverage their respective strengths and realize better  economies of scale in terms of buying and lobbying power, two rural wireless industry associations, the Rural Telecommunications Group and NextGen Mobile, on Sept. 8 announced they would join forces to serve rural wireless providers.

Operating under the Rural Telecommunications Group name as of Sept. 1, the new organization will have a membership roster representing more than 100 companies. NextGen’s main focus has been on leveraging the pooled market power of small rural wireless carrier members “to reduce the operational costs associated with deploying and maintaining next generation, high-speed wireless networks.” Trade association RTG’s main focus has been on government and public policy advocacy on behalf of the small, rural wireless carriers it represents.

“The RTG and NextGen memberships understand that working together with one voice is of extreme importance in today’s regulatory and legislative environment” Mike Higgins, Jr., RTG’s President and the CEO of West Central Wireless, was quoted as saying in the news release. “Joining together with RTG is a seamless and logical step for NextGen to nurture the development and survivability of rural wireless providers” added E. Kelly Bond, NextGen’s chairman and president of Public Service Communications.

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