Sprint today reached LTE roaming agreements with another 15 rural carriers. Joining the Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program it announced earlier this year with CCA will be Bluegrass Cellular, Pioneer Cellular and 13 others including nine Rural Independent Network Alliance partners.
With the new agreements, Sprint says it has agreements with 27 carriers covering 27 states and more than 38 million people.
The program allows Sprint customers to freely roam on partner LTE networks (and vice versa) while Sprint assists these rural carriers with their LTE deployments. Sprint is providing access to some of its available spectrum for LTE and is helping to push Band 12 support into more devices.
The LTE roaming agreements with Sprint work in tandem with the CCA Roaming and Device Hubs. The Roaming Hub “serves as a clearinghouse for participating members to complete simple, commercially-sustainable and individually-negotiated reciprocal roaming agreements with CCA member operators.”
The Device Hub allows smaller carriers to leverage Sprint’s scale and buying power to assemble a wider device portfolio for their customers.
“I am very pleased Sprint has signed agreements with 15 additional carriers and is committed to working with smaller rural and regional carriers. Competitive carriers must have a pathway to 4G LTE technologies, and Sprint’s solution will help them achieve this critical goal,” CCA President and CEO Steven K. Berry said in a statement.
NetAmerica’s Small Market Alliance for Rural Transformation (SMART), a shared network alliance providing capabilities and resources needed for rural carriers building out LTE networks, is a previously announced initiative in line with Sprint’s and CCA’s current programs.