4G LTE Network Launches in Rural Alaska

Travelers to Alaska may notice they can surf the Web faster now from their 4G LTE wireless phones and tablets from Verizon Wireless. And, that vacation photo of a glacier from the nation’s largest state, shot from the side of the road, can now be sent with greater speed.

That’s because Verizon Wireless turned on its 4G LTE network in Alaska in July and the Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA) recently launched its 4G LTE network. The newly constructed MTA network, covering 1,552 square miles, connects to the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE core network.

MTA is one of 20 participants in the Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America (LRA) Program, which launched in 2010 to bring the benefits of high-speed 4G LTE technology to rural communities on a quicker timetable. Through the program, rural carriers lease 700 MHz Upper C block spectrum from Verizon Wireless and build and operate their own 4G LTE radio networks. 

Thirteen LRA participants have launched their 4G LTE networks to date, covering nearly 1.8 million people and more than 41,000 square miles—an area larger than the state of Kentucky.  

The rural buildouts extend 4G LTE footprints for both Verizon Wireless customers and customers of companies participating in the LRA program. Those customers can roam on Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network throughout the U.S., including the newly launched service in Alaska, as well as the networks of all the other rural participants. Verizon Wireless customers can roam on the rural networks. 

See the infographic below for a look at how the LRA program is working in rural communities across the country.