Mobile service getting a boost
Nov 11, 2012 (Menafn - Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Bluegrass Cellular and Verizon Wireless customers in the area can now experience top-flight mobile Internet service on their cellphones, as the companies announced last week the launch of the first phase of their 4G LTE network.
Resulting from a partnership the two companies entered into in 2010, the 4G LTE network will enable customers in Warren, Barren, Hart and other counties to experience significantly faster data speeds on their phones.
"The difference it makes is just amazing on things like streaming video and being able to take, send and receive pictures, recording life as it happens and accessing data via apps," said Barry Nothstine, vice president of sales and marketing for Bluegrass Cellular.
With the initial launch, a geographical area with a population of about 348,000 people in Bluegrass Cellular's largest markets now has 4G LTE coverage, which is now continuous along the Interstate 65 corridor from Louisville to Nashville.
4G LTE -- or fourth-generation Long Term Evolution -- services involve faster picture and video messaging, game and ringtone downloads and data speeds for customers browsing the Web on their smartphones, tablets and PDAs.
LTE speeds improve upon the 4G network, which succeeded the third-generation, or 3G, system, that first gave cellphones full Internet access and first enabled users to download mobile apps and video content.
The 3G system replaced 2G, which first allowed texting and email access on cellphones.
Bluegrass projects download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second for LTE customers.
"Bluegrass Cellular made the decision two years ago to partner with Verizon Wireless as the fastest approach to provide 4G LTE to our customers both locally and nationwide," Bluegrass Cellular President Ron Smith said in a news release. "We are pleased to announce the successful rollout of the first phase of this partnership and look forward to the continued expansion of 4G LTE coverage in the future."
Bluegrass Cellular partnered with Verizon in the Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America program, in which Verizon sought rural carriers to deliver 4G LTE to communities.
"When we signed this agreement with Verizon two years ago, there was a big red map with a white hole in Kentucky where we didn't have coverage," Nothstine said.
The program, which added capacity to cell towers locally, now covers 2.7 million people and 144,000 square miles, involving 18 carriers in 14 states.
Bowling Green and Glasgow are among the first wave of markets carrying Bluegrass Cellular to join the network through the program.
"We definitely have plans for expansion," Nothstine said. "The expansion will take place throughout the next year. We don't have specific dates or areas yet, but it's something obviously we're working on."
4G LTE service has been introduced in many parts of Kentucky this year. Last month, Verizon launched the service in Owensboro, a year after the company launched 4G LTE in Louisville.
AT&T is expanding its 4G LTE network to Louisville this year, and the company is looking to add more cities on the network across the country in 2013.
Cathy Lewandowski, a spokeswoman for AT&T, said in an email that the company could not comment on its plans for Bowling Green, where customers are on the 4G network, but added that AT&T expected its deployment of LTE services to be largely complete by the end of next year.
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