Regional US operator West Central Wireless has announced that it has enlisted French-US telecoms vendor Alcatel Lucent to roll out a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network across its operational footprint. In addition, the cellco has confirmed that it will open up its core network under a new ‘network hosting’ agreement, which will allow it to offer other regional operators the opportunity to deliver broadband services in underserved rural communities nearby. As the first cellular carrier to operate between El Paso and Dallas, West Central claims to have retail and wholesale cellular operations in 27 contiguous counties throughout West Central Texas. The company intends to launch commercial LTE services in late-2012, to celebrate 25 years of service. Although 4G connectivity will be limited to USB dongles initially, the company expects to unveil a range of tablets and smartphones in due course.
Mike Higgins Jr, CEO of parent company Central Texas Telephone Cooperative, said: ‘West Central Wireless is a trusted provider of hosted services, having offered similar agreements for AMPS, TDMA, CDMA and GSM technologies. We are pleased to be able to leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s expertise to deliver new services that meet the mobile broadband needs of our customers, while offering a significant opportunity for other service providers who don’t have the capital to invest in a full core network, to do the same’.