Verizon Wireless (s VZ) is in talks to share its spectrum with rural wireless carriers, according to the Wall Street Journal, which yesterday published an interview with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. The carrier head also told the WSJ about the company’s planned Android (s goog) tablet, so who knows what other Verizon news will trickle out as a result of the chat. I’m hoping for business models for the coming fourth-generation LTE network.
But back to the spectrum sharing. It’s not clear what the details of the spectrum sharing will consist of, but it looks like Verizon is hoping rural carriers will lease the Verizon spectrum and then Verizon or the rural carrier would build out towers in the rural footprint. In exchange, rural carriers get to offer roaming on Verizon’s LTE network across the country.
These deals could allow Verizon to build out its nationwide LTE network quickly (perhaps in some of the smaller towns that Clearwire (clwr) is hitting with its own WiMAX-based 4G network). It may also help meet the goals of the National Broadband Plan, which relies heavily on wireless for broadband competition in rural areas.
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