Verizon Wants Government Help For Rural Partners
Oct 6, 2010, 11:27 AM by Philip Berne
Verizon Wireless wants the FCC to offer Universal Service Fund cash to rural carriers that sign licensing and roaming agreements with The Network. The Universal Service Fund is meant to provide telecommunication service, including high-speed LTE networking, to underserved, rural areas. Verizon Wireless is building out its LTE network and wants to license LTE spectrum space to rural carriers. Verizon and the rural carriers would then build the LTE network either separately or together, depending on the agreement, and the rural carrier would sell the LTE service locally. Verizon would then sign roaming agreements with the carrier.
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Verizon Wireless today announced the 4G LTE Network Extender for homes and small businesses. The small box provides LTE coverage in buildings up to about 7,500 square feet, including services such as HD Voice and high-speed data.
Sprint Signs 15 More Rural Carriers to LTE Initiative
Sprint today announced it has forged LTE 4G roaming agreements with 15 more rural network operators. Today's additions boost the number of carriers participating in Sprint's Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program to 27.
T-Mobile Hoping to Forge LTE Roaming Deals
T-Mobile today indicated it is working with other carriers to offer LTE roaming. T-Mobile competitors Sprint and Verizon Wireless have aggressively pursued rural LTE roaming deals, which has in turn increased their LTE availability.
T-Mobile Opens Up LTE Roaming to CCA Data Hub
T-Mobile today added its network to the Competitive Carriers Association's LTE data roaming hub. The move gives CCA members and their customers access to T-Mobile's LTE 4G network for data roaming purposes.
Sprint Partners Making Headway in Rural LTE Push
Sprint says 16 of the 30 companies who've agreed to participate in its Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program have launched their LTE networks. The Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program is similar to Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America initiative.
Sounds sketchy to me, abuse of government grants.
Verizon is asking the government to subsidize the build out towers and networks for small rural carriers so they don't have to personally invest any substantial money into their own personal network.
Since they don't actually own the towers, maintenance will be performed by the local companies and will not be the responsibility of Verizon Wireless.
Essentially Verizon is asking the government to foot the bill of their network expansion in the name of small carriers.
Sounds really really really sketchy to me.
I can't help but wonder why Verizon is doing so much to help small cellular companies. This one also clearly benefits Verizon, but shifting away from handset exclusivity is a little more difficult to explain.