Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that it has developed a program with CCA (Competitive Carriers Association) and reached an agreement with the NetAmerica Alliance to accelerate the deployment and utilization of 4G LTE across rural America and allow carriers in those regions low-cost access to Sprint’s nationwide network and the ability to purchase a wider range of devices.
The CCA program and NetAmerica Alliance agreement will foster the continued deployment of 4G LTE coverage throughout underserved American communities, where the cost of building such networks and the roaming costs are often prohibitively expensive. The programs announced today will foster a competitive 4G LTE wireless ecosystem -- reducing roaming costs for carriers and improving competition, while expanding Sprint’s coverage by giving its customers the ability to roam on regional and rural carriers’ networks.
“Every American, regardless of where they live or work, should have access to high-speed mobile broadband,” said Masayoshi Son, Sprint chairman. “The programs developed by Sprint, CCA and the NetAmerica Alliance are a strong first step to improving availability of LTE service and providing greater device choice for Americans in rural areas. They are also a clear demonstration of Sprint’s long-term commitment to bring real competition to the wireless industry.”
In a keynote address to be delivered later this morning at the CCA Global Expo, Son plans to invite members of both CCA and NetAmerica to join with Sprint in accelerating their plans for deploying 4G LTE to the communities they serve. Through these programs, CCA carriers and NetAmerica Alliance Members are positioned to more efficiently and quickly deploy and support their owned and operated 4G LTE networks. In turn, Sprint’s customers will be able to roam on the 4G LTE networks being built by CCA and NetAmerica Alliance Members across the country. To facilitate roaming between these networks, beginning in January 2015, Sprint plans to offer 4G LTE devices that will include a chipset allowing the devices to roam on the lower 700MHz spectrum primarily in use by CCA and NetAmerica Alliance Members.“Working together we can offer a faster network, better devices and a better customer experience,” Son said. “I am confident we can take on the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T, which currently are the only 4G LTE carriers in many parts of the U.S.”