Wednesday, 2 November 2011

O2 - not, not that O2 - starts $33m rollout of LTE network in rural US

A small startup in the US called O2 Secure Wireless has started on the first phase of an ambitions $33m rollout of an LTE broadband multimedia network across 65 cities. The company - which is not connected with the O2 brand owned by Telefonica - plans to provide coverage to over 500,000 customers in under-served or un-served markets in Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
O2 says it will construct the most technologically advanced LTE network presently available, capable of download speeds of 25Mbyte/s, although this implies a 200Mbit/s network that LTE and even LTE Advance does not support so it looks more like 25Mbit/s which is still high for a wireless network. However, it may fall foul of Telefonica which runs the O2 wireless network in the UK and uses the brand extensively.
The $33m loan to O2 Secure Wireless will be administered through the Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, at an equivalent rate of 2%.
"The remarkably low interest rates are extremely attractive, as compared to traditional commercial loans, whose offers have been presented at prime plus 275 basis points," said Val Kazia, CEO of O2 Secure Wireless. " In addition, the USDA offers interest only payments for the first 12 months during the construction of the network; we believe this will enable exponential domestic growth. The application has been submitted for review."
The goal of the Broadband Program is to ensure that rural consumers enjoy the same quality and range of services that are available in urban and suburban communities. 
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