News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday March 27, 2014.
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Sprint has announced that it will partner with the Competitive Carrier Association and NetAmerica Alliance to build 4G LTE in more rural areas, cutting down on the number of areas where customers are unable to access Sprint's network. The partnership includes a roaming agreement that would give partnering companies low-cost access to Sprint's network. The city mice would have more reliable coverage when venturing outside of the densely-populated areas, and the country mice on regional carriers would have better coverage when they go into urban markets.
At the moment, Sprint's 4G LTE network is mostly found in medium-sized markets. The carrier is venturing more often into urban cores and surrounding areas where most of the US population resides, but there's still room for improvement in small markets and rural areas. Partnering with the CCA will limit some of the costs that often scares away carriers from investing in these areas and leads to those large swaths of empty space on coverage maps.
The deal will start bearing fruit in January 2015 when Sprint introduces a chipset that works on lower 700 MHz spectrum. Carriers in the CCA and NetAmerica typically use bands in the spectrum that Sprint does not, so new devices sold next year will need to be able to roam on the networks through cellular radios that work with those carriers. This will also make it possible for CCA and NetAmerica customers to access Sprint's network.source: Sprint
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.