Phoenix Wireless Brings 4G LTE Service to Washington County

By Amy Jeanroy

Dropped calls, missed texts, internet going out endlessly; these are the issues that would keep businesses relying on cutting edge technology from considering a location in Washington County. 

Phoenix Wireless, LLC, a Maine based telecommunications company that designs, builds and operates carrier grade cellular networks, has recently announced agreements with both Verizon and Sprint, that could change all that. These new partnerships will soon allow customers in Eastern Hancock and Washington counties access to high-speed 4G LTE services. 

Phoenix Wireless and Verizon have agreed to participate in the LTE in Rural America (LRE) program in Down East Maine. This program was launched by Verizon in 2010 to bring the benefits of high-speed mobile broadband and enhanced communications to rural communities across the country. 

"Washington County will benefit from  true 4G LTE network capabilities,” says President and CEO of Phoenix Wireless, Robert J. Parsloe. “Verizon customers who reside in and travel to Maine will be able to seamlessly take advantage of the services they are accustomed to elsewhere.”

Phoenix has also announced an agreement with Sprint that will allow Sprint customers access to High-speed services when traveling to and through Phoenix Wireless coverage areas beginning in Washington and Hancock counties. As part of Sprint's Rural Roaming Preferred Program, Phoenix customers will have the ability to roam on Sprint's network. 

Says Parsloe of the agreement:

“The type of technology in support of Sprint is enhanced. It is clearly going to be the fastest broadband out there.”

This translates into good news for both Sprint and Verizon customers. According to Parsloe: "As a customer you will get REAL 4G service. Both from a fixed perspective (home and business) and mobility side(visitors).”

Local Construction

The plan is to build 29 new sites with 4G LTE coverage. This will be a combination of existing structures and the construction of 10-13 new sites, bringing service to areas that have never before had access to true carrier grade high speed wireless mobile or Internet service. The sites will be concentrated  along Rt. 1 corridor between Ellsworth and Eastport, and the Rt.9 corridor between Bangor and Calais. 

"We will be hiring local cell techs and engineers at each one of the cell sites says Parsloe. "We always hire local first. Then, when we exhaust that resource, we stay within the region. Very seldom do we have to bring folks in.”

More Efficient Technology

Although there are no plans to open a brick and mortar store in the area to service customers, Phoenix Wireless will be providing service and equipment directly, says Parsloe. "We will work very closely with Verizon wireless, and providing mixed broadband services.”

When asked about how they will deal with the current Canadian roaming issues that cell phone users have come to expect,  Parsloe assures that that will not be a problem with Verizon and Sprint. 

"The technology is more efficient than ever.  As we begin to turn up our sites and find that the Canadian signals come across the border, then we work with Canadian regulatory authorities to keep that from happening. That is where the true engineering talent comes in. We also can regulate our signal if Canadian cell users have the same problem. 

According to Parsloe, the timeline for this project is 6 months to announce the availability of service, with the entire project being completed in 12-18 months. 

His optimism is contagious. “We are excited”, he says. “It won't be an easy project but Phoenix Wireless, LLC, is fully committed financially to bringing voice and data services to underserved and un-served markets.”