Thumb Cellular Partners with Verizon to Bring LTE to Michigan’s Thumb Area

PIGEON, MI., Jan. 7, 2011 / -- Thumb Cellular has entered into an agreement with Verizon Wireless to participate in the LTE in Rural America program. Under this program, Thumb will deploy and operate a state of the art 4G LTE wireless network which will provide greater telecommunications capabilities and choices for the residents of Michigan’s Thumb area.

Ed Eichler, President of Thumb, said, “We have a commitment to the communities that we serve and a dedication to maintain state of the art technologies for those that live in our service areas.  Our decision to deploy LTE technology with its blazing fast speeds will benefit our customers and will complement our current wireline, and wireless CDMA services to provide the best broadband experience for our existing and new subscribers.”

"Thumb is a forward-looking wireless company and a broadband leader in their community. We are looking forward to working with Thumb to ensure that the people of Michigan’s Thumb area will benefit from 4G LTE service," said Molly Feldman, VP of Business Development for Verizon Wireless.

Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will lease to Thumb its 700 MHz upper C block wireless spectrum in the Thumb Cellular service areas where Verizon Wireless has not constructed a network. Using the leased spectrum, Thumb will construct and operate a 4G LTE network in three counties in Michigan serving Thumb customers, Verizon Wireless customers and customers of other LTE in Rural America participants. In addition, Thumb customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network throughout the United States.

About Thumb Cellular:  Thumb Cellular is a subsidiary of Agri-Valley Communications which has a long and rich history of meeting the telecommunications needs of the rural communities it serves.  Agri-Valley Communications is a locally- and family-owned business which is parent to Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Broadband, Agri-Valley Services and Pigeon Telephone Company, an independent local exchange carrier.