Sprint Joins Rural Cellular Association

Media ownership, Spectrum, Wireless April 21st, 2011

, Managing Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011 – At the group’s annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Rural Cellular Association CEO, Steven Berry, announced the addition of wireless carrier, Sprint to the RCA.

“This is a very timely addition to RCA’s membership, and a stronger membership will certainly help ensure that our voices are heard at the Federal Communications Commission, on Capitol Hill, and at the White House and other parts of the Executive Branch,” said Berry through a joint statement released this week.

The move may come as no surprise in the midst of a shakeup in the wireless carrier market, where four companies – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint – control more than 80 percent of the market share. Last month, AT&T announced a $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile, which, if approved, would make the combined company the largest carrier in the market and would threaten to leave Sprint a distant third.

“At Sprint, we have many issues of mutual concern with RCA members and we look forward to advocating for policies that promote competition and a level playing field across the wireless industry,” said Vonya McCann, senior vice president of Government Affairs at Sprint through the statement.

RCA represents nearly 100 regional carriers and frequently goes to bat against the larger carriers on issues such as handset availability, spectrum allocation, and Universal Service Fund reform. In recent months, the association has added carriers such as MetroPCS and American Tower to its ranks.

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