One of the U.S. largest cell providers is about to grow in size by over 700,000 customers. While Sprint is busy axing customers they deem unworthy, Verizon is sinking $2.67 billion into expanding their customer base by taking on Rural Cellular Corp. Rural, who not too long ago acquire Triton Cellular, is a company that, as their name implies, focuses on coverage in more sparse areas.

Primarily in the midwest U.S. but also on the east and west coast, there are huge expanses of land where no large cities exist. Cell coverage can be limited at best, despite having a significant number of people spread out over the areas. They capitalized on that, and now so will Verizon:

While the thought of acquiring small rural wireless providers would have been shunned not too long ago, the transactions are becoming a way for major mobile phone service providers to grow their subscriber rolls. The Rural Cellular acquisition announcement follows by less than a month the acquisition of rural wireless provider Dobson Communications by AT&T for $2.8 billion. Dobson serves 1.7 million subscribers.
Verizon will be alerting the network after the acquisition, such as moving GSM customers to CDMA service. Hopefully these things are signs of cellular service in the U.S. improving.