Sprint improves rural footprint following nTelos agreement

23 May 2014 | Sophie Donoghue

Sprint and rural mobile operator nTelos Wireless have reviewed and extended their wholesale agreement for LTE until 2020.

The deal, which allows Sprint to compete more effectively in the rural area of western Virginia and West Virginia, sees nTelos continue to be the exclusive network provider for Sprint services in the region.

“Extending our agreement with nTelos illustrates Sprint’s long-term commitment to enhancing competition by partnering with rural wireless carriers to provide faster networks, better coverage and more choice to Americans in underserved areas,” said Michael C Schwartz, SVP of corporate and business development at Sprint.

“The continuation of our longstanding relationship with nTelos allows Sprint to maximise our spectrum assets, reduce capital expenditures and provide our customers in western Virginia with expanded 4G LTE services.”

Sprint has said that it hopes the deal will encourage rural wireless carriers to build LTE networks that Sprint's customers will be able to roam on to.

In return, the carrier will be able to use Sprint’s wireless airwaves to improve the quality of voice and data services. nTelos will have access to Sprint's 800MHz, 1900MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum in the region and, in addition, will be able to access Sprint's nationwide LTE network outside of nTelos’s network area.

“The agreement enhances our retail offering by providing nTelos customers with access to the Sprint Spark 4G network,” said James A Hyde, CEO of nTelos

nTelos Wireless partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its regional wireless network services to 4G at the end of 2013.