Agreements and initiatives announced back in March with Sprint, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) and the NetAmerica Alliance, are beginning to work toward fruition. Today, Sprint announced it has reached agreements with 12 rural and regional network carriers to extend their 4G LTE service to their customers. These agreements help accelerate the deployment of 4G LTE in areas across America where building towers and networks would be prohibitively expensive and also saves the customer expensive roaming charges as well. The Rural Roaming Preferred Program – developed in conjunction with the CCA – extends coverage to over 34 million people in 23 states and covers over 352,000 square miles.
According to the agreement today, twelve additional carriers are now covered by Sprint’s 4G LTE service: SouthernLINC Wireless, covering 127,000 square miles and 18 million people in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida – nTelos, covering 66,000 square miles and 6.1 million people in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky (previously announced) – C Spire Wireless, covering over 61,700 square miles and approximately 5.5 million people in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee – Nex-Tech Wireless, covering 35,000 square miles and 286,000 people in Kansas and Colorado – Flat Wireless, covering over 29,000 square miles and 2.1 million people in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona – SI Wireless, dba MobileNation, covering 10,000 square miles and 830,000 people in Tennessee and Kentucky – Inland Cellular, covering 9,000 square miles and 297,000 people in Idaho and Washington – Illinois Valley Cellular, covering 5,500 square miles and 250,000 people in Illinois – Carolina West Wireless, covering 3,100 square miles and 585,500 people in North Carolina – James Valley Telecommunications, covering 4,000 square miles and 45,000 people in South Dakota – VTel Wireless, covering 791 square miles and 60,450 people in Vermont – and Phoenix Wireless, covering 800 square miles and 17,000 people in Maine.
Michael C. Schwartz, Sprint senior vice president of Corporate and Business Development said: “These agreements demonstrate Sprint’s commitment to provide better coverage, a faster network and a wider selection of lower-cost wireless devices to all customers, regardless of where they live. Through unique and flexible deals with carriers like C Spire and nTelos we are providing an enhanced 4G LTE experience for Sprint customers and increasing wireless choice and competition across rural America.” The agreement not only benefits the rural customers, but also decreases the roaming charges for current Sprint customers that may travel in those areas.
Sprint has been making a lot of news lately with their Framily Plan (some good and some funny) and also the possible buyout of T-Mobile. Sprint suffered from an antiquated network and are finding the expansion and conversion to a 4G LTE network both expensive and slow, putting them at a disadvantage over the competition. Please give us a holler on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are a Sprint customer and how would you characterize your coverage and service…as always, we would love to hear from you.