Feature Article

February 21, 2012

Verizon Wireless to Acquire E.N.M.R. Telephone Cooperative

Verizon Wireless has announced it is planning to purchase the E.N.M.R Telephone Cooperative, a telecom provider serving rural New Mexico.

Verizon will acquire the wireless assets of the cooperative, which does business as Plateau Wireless.

The amount Verizon paid for the assets has not been disclosed.

“We look forward to expanding our presence and coverage in rural New Mexico and in welcoming Plateau Wireless' customers to the nation's most reliable network," Brian Danfield, president of Verizon Wireless' Southwest Region, said.

The purchase will give Verizon greater access in the Southwest, where Plateau currently serves communities in southeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle.

The deal, pending FCC approval, is expected to close in the middle of 2012. Verizon has already invested

E.N.M.R., the Eastern New Mexico Rural Telephone Cooperative, was founded in 1949. The cooperative currently offers landline and Internet services and both prepaid and postpaid mobile services. It has over 85,000 subscribers and 12,000 access lines. The cooperative serves a population of roughly 259,000 people in an area of approximately 26,100 square miles, including the communities of Roswell, Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs in New Mexico. They cover 18 counties in New Mexico and 12 in the Texas Panhandle.

Verizon says it’s already spent over $70 billion on its network since the company’s inception, and serves over 200 million people on its 4G network alone.. The company says that its 3G network is the most reliable in the nation, and has the nation’s largest 4G LTE network.

Verizon is a joint venture between of Verizon and Vodafone headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J. The company claims over 108 million subscribers.

Despite problems with network outages, the company had a record fourth quarter in 2011.

David Delony is a Bay Area expatriate living in Ashland, Oregon. He combines his lifelong love of both words and technology in his career as a freelance writer. David holds a B.A. in communication from California State University, East Bay.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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