While mega-carriers have been gradually unveiling their 700 Mhz technology plans and discussing the merits of open wireless networks, we haven't heard much about the plans of some of the smaller 700 Mhz license holders. Now, rural telco CenturyTel, of Monroe , La., is saying it plans to use the A block and B block licenses it won through the auction to deploy a wireless overlay that will help the company expand voice and data services more effectively and less expensively to remote areas around its existing markets. The telco, which once owned a wireless subsidiary, but sold it to Alltel (the company which later spun off its wireline operations to help form Windstream Communications), paid about $149 million for the licenses.
CenturyTel currently offers wireless service via a mobile virtual network operator deal with AT&T, but it appears that the telco will use the new licenses more as an extension to current wireline-based offerings. The 700 Mhz market is already becoming a competitive battleground for the WiMAX and LTE technology camps, but CenturyTel says it will wait for the spectrum to be cleared sometime next year, before stating more specifics of its network overlay plan.
- check out this coverage at Telephony
- CenturyTel recently posted a profit increase and tempered outlook. CenturyTel report