Warner, Okla.-based Cross Telephone said it has signed up for Verizon Wireless’ (VZ) LTE in Rural America program that will see Cross deploy and operate a LTE network using Verizon Wireless’ 700 MHz spectrum to offer service in parts of Oklahoma. Cross currently offers CDMA-based services under the Sprocket Wireless brand.
Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will lease to Cross its 700 MHz upper C-Block wireless spectrum in the Cross Wireless service areas where Verizon Wireless has not constructed a network. Cross will construct and operate a LTE network in eastern and south-eastern Oklahoma serving Cross customers, Verizon Wireless customers and customers of other LTE in Rural America participants. In addition, Cross customers will have access to Verizon Wireless’ LTE network throughout the United States.
“This program accelerates the benefits of new wireless technology for our customers and our communities,” said V. David Miller, President of Cross. “The LTE in Rural America program helps extend the reach and capabilities of Cross and ensures that we are able to address the future needs of our customers in communities that have historically not been the first to benefit from technologies such as 4G LTE.”
Cross joins Oklahoma-based Pioneer Cellular, and Kentucky-based Bluegrass Cellular in participating in Verizon Wireless’ program .
Verizon Wireless began rolling out its LTE services earlier this month with plans to cover more than 280 million potential customers by the end of 2013.
Cross did not say which vendor(s) it planned to use for the LTE deployment, though Verizon Wireless is using Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent among its vendors for network equipment. Cross did announce a deal with Ericsson earlier this year to deploy its CDMA-based network.