Regional mobile operator SouthernLINC Wireless said it has signed an agreement with mobile virtual network enabler Prepaid Wireless Wholesale to sell “nationwide high-speed data, voice and messaging services” within its current footprint across portions of the Southeast.
The services will run across GSM and UMTS-based networks, bolstering SouthernLINC’s current iDEN-based services. Support for the offering will come from a dual-SIM phone that the carrier said it expects to launch in the coming months.
SouthernLINC is one of the few iDEN-based carriers in the United States, with its largest roaming partner Sprint Nextel set to begin turning off its iDEN service by the middle of the year. A number of international operators continue to use the iDEN technology and have committed to purchasing devices that run across the technology through the end of 2014.
SouthernLINC’s reliance on iDEN is somewhat due to its ownership by power company Southern Company, which is reliant on its wireless subsidiary to provide communication services to its thousands of employees spread across the Southeast. The iDEN network supports push-to-talk capabilities that have been the standard against which all other PTT offerings have been compared.
SouthernLINC has been looking at the potential for network evolution, but with less than 10 megahertz of specturm capacity that evolution is somewhat limited, though the 1.4 megahertz channels that are supported by the LTE standard could provide a potential avenue for the carrier.
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