DALLAS, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NetAmerica Alliance, LLC today announced that Panhandle Telephone Cooperative Inc. (PTCI) is going live with 4G LTE service in rural Oklahoma at the end of March as the NetAmerica Alliance Membership concurrently unveils its new 4G LTE consumer service brand called Bonfire.
Panhandle, headquartered in Guymon, Oklahoma was announced as an Alliance Member in 2011, and owns spectrum which covers six counties comprised of more than 45,000 people, nearly 20,000 households and covers over 7,500 square miles. PTCI's current 4G LTE network consists of 45 towers covering 5,000 square miles and a population within reach of those towers of nearly 30,000. The network is being brought online connected to the NetAmerica Alliance IMS-Powered SuperCenter™ which also goes live concurrent with the service launch.
The service brand name was chosen after months of primary market research and consumer testing which provided Alliance Members incredible insight as to what their potential customers deemed important in service delivery, support, and branding of a 4G LTE service. The data will prove invaluable as they prepare to roll out service aggressively in their individual markets.
No matter what age or gender, everyone has their own image of fun, family, and community experiences which were shared around a bonfire many times in their life. The name captures the feeling and emotional response from customers which Alliance Members will manifest through delivery of the service.
"Today's announcement is exciting on so many levels," said Roger Hutton, Chairman and CEO of NetAmerica. "Our IMS-Powered SuperCenter is going live, our service brand is launched, and Panhandle is armed to serve the good citizens of Oklahoma with 4G LTE. This is why the Alliance was formed, to revitalize rural America with lifestyle and livelihood enhancing services, and today all the pieces have come together to make that happen."
"It is indeed a special time for our customers, for rural America and for PTCI," said Ron Strecker, CEO of PTCI. "Prior to joining the Alliance we evaluated the risks and complexity of deploying a 4G LTE network on our own and decided the alliance model made a lot of sense. I can say now, with the benefit of hindsight, that the decision was an excellent one. The alliance model was ready and we were able to focus on our business while still sharing knowledge with other members, gaining the benefit of brand positioning based on hard research, and cost effectively taking advantage of leading edge technology based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem architecture."
NetAmerica Alliance, officially launched in early 2011, selected its technology partner, Ericsson, in March of 2011 and has since gone from launch to live service in a year. While others have talked about serving rural America, the Alliance has been busy working out operational issues, deploying network infrastructure and bringing online its IMS SuperCenter, which will provide Alliance Members the tools and infrastructure they need to deploy advanced 4G LTE applications, as well as a platform upon which to converge wireline and wireless services, thereby protecting their core business and providing their customers with high value "anytime, anywhere" services.
About NetAmerica Alliance, LLC
NetAmerica Alliance, LLC is an alliance of independent carriers, led by an experienced management team, who have joined forces to build-out 4G LTE service in the carriers' license coverage areas. Through the Alliance, members gain collective strength and cost advantages comparable to that of large carriers. In effect, many separate operating entities essentially become one, while maintaining their independence.
NetAmerica provides advanced multi-media IP services, buying power, nationwide branding, marketing and training programs, a network operations center, key networking elements, applications development and nationwide roaming arrangements. Members run the network in their own territories, while NetAmerica empowers advanced revenue generating services and provides the critical mass and economies of scale needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Website: www.netAmericaAlliance.com.
This press release contains statements that are forward-looking. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance.