Sprint, the US’s third largest phone carrier which is on the come up with major network upgrades and changes. Sprint grow tremendously last year however their prepaid sales were VERY down.
As of February 2nd, 8:40 PM EST, most links on the Sprint Prepaid website redirects to Boost Mobile, a Prepaid MVNO of Sprint and a separate company. As of right now, there has been no direct information from Sprint about what is going to happen to the existing customers and the future Sprint Prepaid brand, if we had to guess they are moving all the customers to Boost Mobile.
Sprint has two main prepaid MVNOs, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Both offer similar device selection, customer service and other feature, like roaming and free music streaming. However Virgin Mobile offers 5GB of high speed data VS 2GB on Boost with the same price.
We will update this post with the latest information from Sprint, once provided.
Sprint the third giant carrier in the US who is fastly improving was the last major carrier still partially offering 2-yr. contacts – only on it’s own site.. Sprint is also only one of the two major carriers still offering unlimited data on it’s own.
Starting 1/22 all locations and agents have been informed that the 2 year contact options has been removed from the website and from Telesales. The only option left are CostCo and Apple who may be removing the options soon as well.
Currently the only options are installments or lease, if you’re on a legacy plan (Everything Data or MyWay) you’re going to end up paying more with these options. However you can move to a newer plan and you will receive a $10/monthly credit or doing so. The new payments options go along with the new plans very well. Just remember any contract lines on the new plans will be charged a $25 fee.
The major electronics retails, how now stopped allowing Sprint customers to get their devices on a 2-year contract.
Sprint – the forth-largest cell phone carrier in the U.S. was one of the last offering however earlier this year it announced that customer will not be able to get phones on a 2-year contract without a $25 fee on their new plans. Legacy plans were not effected by this change. The same day it announced that it’s corporate stores will not allow customers to buy phones on a 2-yr. contract. At this point the only way to get a 2-yr contract was online at Sprint.com, calling Telesales or at a third-party retailer.
BestBuy was the last large retailer still carrying Sprint 2-yr. contracts. However it announced starting October it will no longer offer that.
Currently the only large retailers carrying Sprint 2-yr. contracts are Costco and Apple itself for iPhones.
NOTE: BestBuy has decided to hold off until the 6th to stop offering contracts so you still have time!
On May 6th Shentel – a local provider has completed their acquisition nTelos – a Virginia based wireless provider. Shentel works in conjunction with Sprint to expand their network. Just last year Sprint was able to enable LTE in most of Virginia including Roanoke, Va. and some of West Va. Read More.
Shentel has acquired all of nTelos’s stocks, wireless network assets, retail shops and ~290,000 existing nTelos customers.
What Shentel will be doing next
All nTelos customers will receive notices via mail, email, text etc.. To complete their server move over to Sprint or Boost Mobile (A sprint MVNO). We’re not 100% how Sprint will be charging the new customer and what plans will go to what carrier (Sprint or Boost Mobile) however it seems like the FRAWG nTelos plans will be transferred to Boost Mobile.
However we do know this:
All nTelos customer will still be able to use their nTelos phones and service until they have completed their transition.
Once you receive your instructions from Sprint, you’ll have the following options:
Choose a customized Sprint plan which is going to be same or better than what you have now and will include – Unlimited Text, Data, and the same amount of data you have right now along with the same price as what you pay now.
Customer will also have the option to move over a standard Sprint plan and they will not have to worry about their contract ETF or anything like that.
If a customer does not want to switch over to Sprint – they will have the option to change carrier when their contract(s) are over.
For all nTelos customer the coverage will improve all now you’ll have access to Sprint’s LTE coverage nationwide not just 3G, like before.
Sprint/Shentel are also going to be investing $350 Millon into the network over the next two year, so be prepared for carrier aggregation (Sprint’s fastest LTE network. Up-to 100 Mbps however much faster as time goes on, along with 5G like speeds.).
All customers with a handset – iPhone 5C or older – will keep their device, a new SIM card will just be inserted. For all other customers, you phone will be replacement for the new network improvements. Most likely, without ETF charges.
All nTelos retail store will be converted to Sprint-branded stores. The employees will remain the same as of now.
You can visit any nTelos store or call customer service to move over to Sprint.
Our first report on Sprint and nTelos’s agreement to bring LTE. Click Here.
Our report on Shentel agreeing to buy nTelos. Click Here.
As we expected just behind T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, Sprint will not longer allow customers to buy phones on a 2 yr. contact. The only options that will be available are Full Price, Lease and EasyPay and ANY of the Sprint planes. However this does not apply to existing customers that are on the Everything Data/Share or Unlimited My Way plans (Information still pending on whether existing customers on any other plans will still be able to sign a contact.) Any existing customers can still add line(s) to their account using a 2 year contact.
DON’T WORRY: You still have until the 8th of this month (Jan. 2016) to get new lines with a 2 year contact. However after that NO MORE accounts can be opened with a 2 year contact.
You can still however use any of the other options like Lease, Easy Pay etc. These options might end-up being cheaper in the long run anyway if Sprint decides to lower some of the prices.
The options to drop the 2 year contact started with T-Mobile back in 2013. Many other carriers followed with Verizon and then AT&T also announcing it will drop contracts on the 8th. It only made sense for Sprint to also drop it’s contracts since it’s the only carrier in the top 4 list that would still have contracts.
This information about the contract drops might create confusions at your local Sprint store(s).. So if there are any problems just show them a news articles (like this one) with the facts or a post on newsroom.sprint.com.
As confirmed by our team.. Sprint’s 4G LTE is now available in the better part of Roanoke, Vinton, Salem, and Blacksburg Va. Other parts ofhte state have not yet been tested by, I would think it’s also turned on in those areas.
The 4G LTE is not yet Sprint Sprak which is a tri-brand LTE technology for faster speeds but, just 4G LTE is still not bad. We were able to pull 16.09 Mbps download and 4.97
Mbps upload in the Vinton with full 5 bars (dots) of connection!
We have been reporting on Sprint opening 4G LTE it’s 4G LTE to the SW Va. area since August and it seems like it’s finally here!
November 21st 2015 – UPDATE Confirmed Sprint LTE in the areas has just been launched! Click Here.
August 10th 2015
Sprint has just announced several agreements acquiring Shentel and it are going to be acquiring nTelos holding corp. Sprint is going to be paying Shentel $252 Million over 5-6 years. The agreement gives Sprint access to nTelos’s newly announced 4G LTE network. The two companies are also going to continue to expand the 4G LTE network.
nTelos’s spectrum assets with give Sprint access to 5.4 Million nTelos and Sprint costumers in parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina. Shentel is not going to be a cell carrier (as of now) but, it’s just going to be expanding the 4G LTE coverage with over 150 more already planned sites.
About 581,000 of Sprint and nTelos retail stores are going to be converted to Sprint-branded affiliate stores and an additional 8,000 nTelos stores are going to be converted to Sprint-branded retail stores.
Any other nTelos customers who are in coverage areas not included in the agreement will be transferred to Shentel. The agreement between Sprint and Shentel has been extended to 2029.
The agreement is dated to be closed by Early 2016 and nTelos will no longer provide cell service to any customers.. All customers will be transfered to Sprint. The customers will be able to keep their current devices and all the plans will be converted to Sprint plans with same or better plans.
Why is Shentel acquiring nTelos?
Shentel purchased nTelos to continue to grow shareholder value by expanding a part of our business that we know and we do well – our Sprint affiliation. In keeping with our Vision and Mission we are expanding into rural markets where we have existing assets that we can leverage.
Why does Shentel sell Sprint services?
Shentel is a Sprint PCS Affiliate. As an affiliate company, Shentel has exclusive rights to sell Sprint service in certain markets. Shentel currently has approximately 435,000 customers with 2.1 million covered POPs in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
What nTelos departments will be retained by Shentel?
We anticipate that we will retain the nTelos retail distribution, In-direct distribution, Field Operations and Engineering. For those nTelos employees who are displaced, there will be opportunities for some of them to fill open positions in other departments within Shentel.
What will happen with the nTelos Eastern Markets?
Shentel will continue with the existing nTelos management plan to close the Eastern Markets.
Will nTelos locations change their name to Shentel?
No. The nTelos retail locations will become part of Shentel’s Sprint affiliate markets and will be rebranded as Sprint retail locations effective with the closing date. Shentel provides cable and broadband services in Southern Virginia, West Virginia and Oakland, Maryland.
Will wireless and cable services be cross marketed together?
No. Shentel’s contract with Sprint does not allow cross marketing.
Will the nTelos brand continue?
No. None of the nTelos brands will continue after the closing.
What will happen to the offices in Waynesboro?
Shentel plans to continue to have Sprint-branded retail stores and will continue to have a limited presence in the Waynesboro area to support retail distribution, In-direct distribution, field operations, IT and engineering. Shentel is evaluating the long term needs of the Waynesboro facilities.
When will Shentel close on the acquisition of nTelos?
The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction. The nTelos shareholders must approve the transaction prior to closing. In addition, there are numerous levels of government approval that are necessary. We estimate that all approvals can be obtained within six (6) months or sooner.
Will there be layoffs?
There will be nTelos employees who will be displaced as there will be overlap in our operational structures and systems. Shentel will be providing these employees with severance packages and outplacement assistance to help those employees find new employment.
If there are layoffs how many layoffs will there be and when?
Today’s announcement of the transaction is the first of many steps and activities that must take place before this transaction can close, which we anticipate will be in approximately six (6) months or sooner. There will be nTelos employees who will be displaced as there will be overlap in our operational structures and systems. At this point in time we do not know how many nTelos employees will be displaced from their jobs or when the layoffs will occur. Shentel will be providing these employees with severance packages and outplacement assistance to help those employees find new employment.
Where do you see the biggest redundancies in the two company’s workforce? What positions are most likely to be eliminated?
We anticipate that we will retain the nTelos retail distribution, In-direct distribution, field operations and much of the engineering department. There is significant overlap in all other departments. For those nTelos employees who are displaced, there will be opportunities for some of them to fill open positions in other departments within Shentel.
What type of severance packages are you offering?
Upon closure of the transaction, Shentel will adopt the existing nTelos Severance Policies and apply them to any employee not offered a permanent positon with Shentel.
What type of job placement assistance are you offering?
Shentel will be providing the displaced employees with severance packages and outplacement assistance to help those employees find new employment. For those nTelos employees who are displaced, there will be opportunities for some of them to fill open positions in other departments within Shentel.
What will this mean for the City of Waynesboro?
Shentel will have a much smaller presence in Waynesboro, so the impact will be significant. Shentel is evaluating the long term needs of the Waynesboro facilities.
Can you explain exactly how Sprint and Shentel work together?
Shentel’s wireless segment is the largest Sprint PCS Affiliate in the country and currently provides wireless service to approximately 435,000 customers. As an affiliate company, Shentel has exclusive rights to provide Sprint wireless service to certain markets. Shentel currently has 2.3 million POPs in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
What does affiliate mean exactly?
As an affiliate company, Shentel has exclusive rights to provide Sprint wireless services in certain markets. Shentel currently has 2.3 million POPs in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Will retail locations remain open?
Yes. As part of the transaction, Shentel will convert approximately thirty-eight (38) nTelos retail stores to the Sprint brand upon closure of the transaction. In addition, Shentel will assume control of seven (7) existing Sprint retail locations in the market.
How will the customers’ service change?
At close, there will be no change other than using the Sprint brand rather than the nTelos brand. Over the next few years, we will complete the 4G LTE upgrade and add 150 additional coverage sites.
What is the timing of the system upgrades?
We anticipate that the system upgrades and expansion will take place over the next years.
What do nTelos customers have to do to switch to the new carrier?
Nothing. nTelos customers’ phones will continue to work. The bills and all correspondence will be branded Sprint after the transaction closes. Soon after closing, customers will be migrated to the Sprint billing system. Customers will continue to pay the same amount for similar service.
When will this transition take effect?
The transition won’t start until after closing which should occur within six (6) months or sooner. Planning will start immediately with multiple committees staffed by Shentel and nTelos employees.
Will customers be offered the same plans?
They will either stay in their current plan or move to a Sprint plan that is equal to or better than their existing plan.
How will coverage change?
At the close of the transaction, there will be no changes. Over the next few years, we will build 150 new sites to extend coverage to be more competitive with U.S. Cellular, Verizon and AT&T.
Will customer bills change?
The format of their bill will change and it will be branded Sprint after the transaction closes. Upon transition, the amount paid for the rate plans by the customer will be the same.
Will the price of service change?
nTelos customers will be transitioned to comparable Sprint plans with comparable pricing but will be put on a Sprint plan at the end of their contract or when they upgrade their phone.
How will you improve service to this area?
We will finish the 4G LTE upgrade and over the next few years build 150 new coverage sites.
What happens to customers who do not want to become part of Sprint?
Customers with an existing nTelos contract will automatically be transitioned to Sprint. Any former nTelos customers who does not want to become part of Sprint can change wireless carriers when their existing contract expires.
What actions do customers need to take at this time? In the future?
nTelos customers do not need to take any immediate actions at this time. Shentel expects the closing of the transaction to be completed within six (6) months or sooner. Once completed, Shentel will begin to transition nTelos customers to Sprint and the Sprint billing system. Additional information will be communicated directly to the nTelos customers.
Will you still offer the FRAWG plan (no contract/pay as you go)? Or will you only offer contract phone plans?
We will offer the full line of Sprint Prepaid products – Sprint prepaid, Boost and Virgin Mobile. At conversion we will move the existing FRAWG customers over to a Sprint prepaid plan that is as good as or better than the one they have today at a comparable price.
What is the timeline for this transaction?
We estimate that the transaction will close within six (6) months or sooner. Once the transaction is completed, Shentel will begin the comprehensive integration activities. As part of that process, nTelos customers will be transitioned over to Sprint and Sprint’s billing system. As more detailed timelines are made available, we will communicate them to you and nTelos’ customers.
Sprint is making it a just a bit cheaper for their customers to travel to North and South America with giving customers free 1GB of 3G data in Canada and Mexico along with a lot more Latin American countries. Users in these areas will be able to send and receive calls and texts for free.
Sprint has previously announced free unlimited 2G data to customers. It’s not clear if the new promotion overrides the old one but, what is clear the most customers with “qualifying” smartphone will be able to get free 1GB of 3G data and additional gig of data is $30 billed at per-megabyte.
Sprint is calling this the Open World plan, and it’s really hoping to make traveling a little less expensive for it’s users. This new promotion looks like a response to T-Mobile’s new roaming plan which allowed customers to use their LTE data plans at no additional cost in Mexico and Canada. They are also offering free calling and texting
It seems like the bottom 2 carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint are getting ready for AT&T’s move into Mexico with it buying two large Mexican carriers for it’s plan to create “first-ever North American mobile service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States,” which would mean AT&T dominating the network and customers in North America.
T-Mobile and Sprint can’t spend that kind-of money but, if they made traveling easier for their customers to hold on to some of it’s user base.
The new promotion is available in Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.
May 9th 2016 – UPDATE Shentel has finished the deal to buy nTelos. Click Here.
November 21st 2015 – UPDATE Confirmed Sprint LTE in the areas has just been launched! Click Here.
November 19th 2015 – UPDATE Shentel has aggregated to buy nTelos. Click Here.
Just today the coverage page for Sprint has been updated to include 4G LTE service. The map now shows that there is 4G LTE coverage in Roanoke, Parts of Vinton, Salem and Bedford. All of the voice and data services are provided by nTelos and the agreement that we talked about here is confirmed!
Hopefully the new 4G LTE nework from Sprint/nTelos in Virgnia and West Virginia could get it some more customers!
We are still trying to get an opportunity to test out the 4G LTE speeds. Just to clear things up: This is not Sprint Spark, a Verizon XLTE competer because again the service is provided by nTelos and they do not have the right to put in Sprint Sprak towers.
The 4G LTE service is also added to some W. VA markets like Charleston, Princeton and other W. VA markets.
LTE for the area come more than 2-3 years after Verizon and ATT have already has their LTE! Roanoke, VA was also one of the first area to get XLTE from Verizon.
The coverage is still increasing and once we actually test out the service we will provide you with how it works!
I ran into an issue after enabling Wi-Fi calling in my Sprint iPhone – It would not place or receive calls as soon as I left Wi-Fi or even when I came back on Wi-Fi.
I would keep reciving a message along the lines of:
“The Phone number that you are trying to call is disconnected or not in-service. If you received this message by error then, check your number and try again. (Error Number).
The wired part was that I was able to call 5-1-1, Apple Care and, Sprint Care or any Toll-free number. I was Just not able to call a local number.
I called Sprint and went to a Sprint store but, all they were able to do was ##UPDATE# and then ##CLEAR#. The last operater from sprint told me that it was a “glitch” in the network and If I summited my location to them then they would come to the tower and fix the “glitch”. Keep in mind that the problem started on a different tower. He told me wait till the morning and call back if the problem was still there.
I decided to take the problem into my own hands. I went into Setting > Phone > WiFi Calls > Update Emergency Information > Scrolled down and checked “Disable Wi-Fi calls on this account > Confirmed the print and now the Wi-Fi calls were disabled from the Sprint system – The Problem went away.
UPDATE (No idea with date it is):*The phone number is change or not in service* has been fixed with a carrier update and in iOS 8.4. If you are still on iOS 8.3 then call ##873283# to fix the problem while using Wi-Fi calling.