Rural carriers ally to improve equipment availability

A handful of CDMA technology-based rural operators formed the Associated Carrier Group L.L.C. alliance, which they said “will collaborate their efforts to efficiently provide timely and competitive value to consumers in member markets while creating efficiencies of scale for manufacturers and vendors.”

The group launched with charter members Cellcom, Celullar South Inc., First Cellular of Southern Illinois, and Midwest Wireless Holdings L.L.C. Cellular South President Hu Meena will serve as Chairman of the association.

“The group will initially focus on improving the widespread and timely availability of CDMA devices, enabling member companies to bring the latest technologies and cost savings to consumers in a timely manner,” Meena explained.

A similar initiative was started last year for GSM-based carriers by Cingular Wireless L.L.C., which said it would work with it’s infrastructure vendors in providing next-generation to smaller carriers at prices similar to what they charge larger carriers. Cingular noted the initiative would allow rural carriers to launch advanced wireless services for their own subscribers as well as provide roaming partners for Cingular.