Sprint, T-Mobile, Rural Carriers Prepping 'Data Hub'
Mar 26, 2014, 2:07 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The Competitive Carrier Association is expected to announce what it calls the Data Access Hub at an event later this week. The Hub is a collection of roaming agreements between small, rural carriers and larger ones, such as Sprint and T-Mobile. The purpose of the Hub is to give Sprint and T-Mobile access to the rural networks of regional carriers, and give those regional carriers access to Sprint and T-Mobile's metropolitan LTE 4G networks. With expanded coverage, Sprint and T-Mobile will be better able to compete with AT&T and Verizon Wireless. "The hub is all about providing coverage," said CCA president Steve Berry to CNET. "It would take billions of dollars and several years to build the kind of coverage AT&T and Verizon have today. That's why this concept of the hub is so empowering to smaller players and bigger operators like Sprint and T-Mobile. It gives them choices and incentives to invest in the networks they already operate." Carriers need only sign a single agreement with the Hub, and they'll be granted roaming access to all the other carriers that participate in the Hub. The Hub will include all current wireless technologies, including 2G, 3G, and LTE 4G. Berry said devices that can support nearly all U.S. LTE bands are on the way and, together with VoLTE, will give Hub members' customers a much better experience as they move around the country. More details will be revealed on Thursday.
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