4G Unserved Areas Cost Study

Policy Support

Feb 27, 2017

Much of rural America is still unserved by mobile broadband.  This includes roads, homes, and businesses across many states, not just those in the West.  Clearly, a lack of economic viability in these areas has left them unserved by mobile carriers, large or small.  Factors that contribute to leaving these markets un-built include density, difficult terrain and the high cost of ongoing maintenance in places far-removed from the core network.  This analysis gives an estimate of the cost to build and maintain a 4G LTE network over time.

This study looks at the entire U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. It uses CQA’s four-stage model to estimate the upfront investment and ongoing costs needed to deploy a 4G Network to unserved areas and maintain it over 10 years.  Results include estimates on initial investment, annual operations and maintenance costs, and annual revenue.  A more detailed description to the methodology can be found in the full study.

Read full case study