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.