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Sprint Expands LTE Coverage With Rural Carriers’ Help

May 20, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Sprint, like most carriers, has a vision of making its data network services reach as many people as possible across the nation; ideally, every carrier would prefer to rely exclusively on its own network, but this is extremely difficult and expensive to achieve. Several major carriers in the US have made deals with other smaller carriers in which both companies support each other towards expanding their services. Last year, Sprint reached an agreement with over 15 rural carriers to further extend their coverage and increase the company’s Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program’s reach. The main goal of this program is to provide small carriers with Sprint’s high-speed mobile broadband solutions, allowing them to use the company’s infrastructure to provide better connectivity in rural areas inside the United States; while at the same time, said rural carriers provide Sprint’s users with seamless transitions between their own and rural networks. Today, 16 of Sprint’s rural partners are launching LTE service to greatly improve the network’s speed.

Sprint’s Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program, has just become closer to achieving the vision of a faster and more extensive data network across the nation, with 16 new rural carriers introducing 4G LTE services. Adrienne Norton, Sprint’s spokeswoman, mentioned in an interview with FierceWireless how the company is working hard to provide extended coverage on more LTE bands, including 4, 5, 12 and 25; Adrienne Norton didn’t mention which of their partners added support for LTE networks because of confidentiality agreements, but in the past, Sprint has talked about who their partners were; some of which include  Bluegrass Cellular, Public Service Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, and Silver Star among others. Sprint is also working much closer to OEMs in order for new devices to support different bands of LTE, which will allow their customers to easily connect to the 700 MHz A Block, Band 12. This LTE band is used by numerous small carriers, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, so for Sprint’s users to enjoy a larger coverage area, the device he or she is using, must first support Band 12. Currently, Sprint operates mainly on  Band 25, which is the 1900 MHz PCS G Block.

The coverage offered by Sprint, has greatly increased more than 565,000 square miles in 27 states, since the launch of the Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program. With over 25 small carriers participating in the program, there is no doubt that Sprint is taking the steps necessary to provide its customers with a faster and more extensive connectivity to LTE networks.