ERF Wireless is moving ahead of schedule on a three-state network expansion that targets major oil and gas drilling areas in Kansas, Nebraska and Montana.
The regional operator has benefitted from the boom in U.S. energy production, since it specializes in providing Internet connections to oil and gas companies in remote areas where cellular coverage is sparse.
"As new areas of oil and gas exploration and production are identified by our major customers, we plan to maintain this network superiority by adding new coverage areas in any area of North America that our customers require and that the business case will support," said CEO Dean Cubley.
The new coverage had been planned for some time but is being accelerated to meet demands from customers in the energy sector, ERF Wireless said.
The Texas-based company is already in the process of building a new wireless network in North Dakota's Bakken Shale area, and it is also "significantly expanding" its coverage in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The energy sector isn't ERF Wireless’ only target market. The company also provides secure wireless connectivity to regional banks and is one of the country's largest wireless Internet service providers (WISPs).
Cubley said in a previous interview that its WISP service was a "break-even business at best," but the services it was providing to the energy sector were more lucrative.
The company's sales increased 46 percent to $1.65 million during the first quarter on increased revenue from its operations in the energy sector.