DALLAS, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NetAmerica Alliance, LLC and Sprint today announced the formation of a shared network alliance which provides NetAmerica Members (rural communications service providers) the capabilities they need to compete and thrive in delivering 4G LTE mobile broadband services to their communities.
This groundbreaking initiative called SMART ( Small Market Alliance for Rural Transformation) is a shared network alliance where Sprint will provide competitive wireless service providers with access to 800 MHz and 1900 MHz spectrum, national reach on Sprint's network, and access to the Sprint device ecosystem. These three key components will help rural carriers overcome historical barriers that have prevented them from providing a viable 4G LTE mobile service offering in their markets. In turn, NetAmerica Members will build local 4G LTE mobile broadband networks (Sprint Network Vision- compliant) and will share those networks with Sprint. Sprint will also share its network (nationwide) with NetAmerica Members. The local wireless networks will use integrated LTE core capability delivered by both Sprint and NetAmerica, thereby providing a Tier-1 carrier service experience to rural consumers. This win-win solution enables rural wireless providers to compete on a level playing field with Verizon and AT&T while giving Sprint a cost effective way to rapidly extend its coverage into rural areas of the country. "SMART is a turning point in the communications industry and it protects the future of rural service providers and the communities they serve," said NetAmerica Alliance Chairman and CEO, Roger Hutton. "Until NetAmerica and Sprint launched SMART, rural providers had no ecosystem of compatible services, LTE mobile handsets, or spectrum; as a result, they were being precluded from competing because of the closed system perpetuated by the duopoly. Today, for rural service providers, all of that changes. We are proud to be aligned with Sprint allowing us to fulfill our founding promise of preserving the proud legacy of the independent rural carrier and enabling rural citizens to live and work where they choose without compromise." "Our relationship with NetAmerica and delivering SMART is a win for Sprint, for our customers, for rural America, and for competition," said Stephen Bye, chief technology officer at Sprint. "Through this shared network alliance, we are able to deliver a Sprint Vision-compliant network nationwide, faster and more cost effectively than if we built it by ourselves while simultaneously being a champion for competition in rural areas and across America." NetAmerica will begin formally offering the SMART solution to selected rural carriers immediately and anticipates network deployments later this year.