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.
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.
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.
UPDATE 4/17/2015: Do not enable Wi-Fi right now. I have gotten a statement from a Sprint Representative that there is a known problem where If you enable using your iPhone and leave the Wi-Fi then your phone will not be able to make calls if you are on Wi-Fi or not. The way to fix this is to not use it now or go to your online Sprint account and add the Wi-Fi calling feature manually – A Sprint Represenative can also do this for you.
If you do not want to add it to your account then you can disable Wi-Fi calling permanently (Not using the Toggle) then there is a guide here: Click Me!
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With iOS 8.3 Sprint also sent out an carrier update (19.1). This gave iOS users the option to use Wi-Fi Calling for Sprint Users.
If you want to enable Wi-Fi calling then Go to: Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calls > Enable “Allow Wi-Fi Calls” > Tap “Turn On” on the Prompt > Verify your address (or fill it in) > Tap “Next” > You are done!
You will now have a option to “Update Emergency Address” – This is the update the address you put in or verified; which will be shown to the Emergency Services if you call 9-1-1 using Wi-Fi. Always tell the Emergency Services your EXACT location in case of any emergency*.
What Wi-Fi calling is if you don’t or have poor network connection in an area then you can use a Private or Public Wi-Fi network so your calls can be directed over Wi-Fi. There are some limitations:
Only the following Abbreviated Dialing Codes (ADCs) are supported over a Wi-Fi Call for iOS. Dialing another ADC (*55 for example) will result in a message stating the call cannot be completed over Wi-Fi. This call will need to be placed after the Wi-Fi Calling feature is turned Off.
211: Community Resources
311: Non-Emergency Services
411: Directory Assistance
511: Traffic Information
611: Sprint Customer Care
711: TDD Relay for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
811: Call Before You Dig Services
9-1-1: Emergency Services
*2: Sprint Customer Care
*3: Sprint Pay by Phone option
*4: Sprint Wireless Account Information
*5: Sprint Wireless Account Information in Spanish
Network Services Not Supported:
Messaging (SMS & MMS) in a Wi-Fi only area (No cellular coverage provided by the Sprint Nationwide Network)
Wireless Emergency Alerts in a Wi-Fi only area (No cellular coverage provided by the Sprint Nationwide Network)
Premium Caller ID
Wireless Priority Services (WPS)
Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS)
Account Controls from Sprint.com
All voice account controls will not be functional when using this service including the following:
Block inbound Voice
Block outbound Voice
Block inbound/outbound Voice
Allow list and block list for specific numbers
Incompatible Services that will be de-provisioned when signing-up for Wi-Fi Calling on iOS:
Integrated Office (IO) Business Service
Sprint Mobile integration (SMI) Business Service
Wireless Mobile Integration (WMI) Business Service
With Wi-Fi calling the Phone will try to use the cellular network to connect to emergency services like 9-1-1. If the call cannot be make because the single is poor or in-existent then it will be made over Wi-Fi. Emergency services will not be able to tell your location if your call is made over Wi-Fi so, you will have to provide them the exact location in an event of emergency.
All messages will still go over cellular network for now. If are not able to get a cellular connection then you text messages will not be sent.
All Wi-Fi calls are free and will not count against your call minutes if you do not have a unlimited plan.
Call / Messaging Type
Utilize monthly plan minutes
Calls from, to and between US, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico numbers.
Calls made from the US, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to international numbers.
Subject to CDMA international calling plan rates.
Varies by CDMA international calling plan.
Calls from international locations to the US, US Virgin Island and Puerto Rico numbers.
Calls from international locations to international numbers.
Subject to CDMA international calling plan rates.(No roaming charges)
Varies by CDMA international calling plan.
All of this is for iOS devices. For more Information and for Android Devices. Click Here.
Waynesboro, Va. // Feb. 2, 2015: nTelos announces it’s “4G for all” program that which will bring LTE to more than 81,000 customers in Roanoke, Va. and Charleston W.Va. This comes after nTelos saying that it will reduce it’s LTE coverage improvement due to a roaming contact with Sprint that allows nTelos customer to roam onto Sprint’s LTE network and Sprint customers to roam onto nTelos’s LTE network.
The nTelos / Sprint LTE surprisingly comes a few years are Verizon and AT&T has already deployed their LTE network in Roanoke.
nTelos is also investing $175 million in rolling out it’s 1900 Mhz LTE and upgrading ti’s existing CDMA network in western Virginia and West Virginia.
We don’t have a date on when exactly this Sprint and nTelos combined LTE coverage will be rolling but we expect it to be in 2015! When LTE does come it will bring both nTelos and Sprint more customers along with more competition between AT&T and Verizon. I am exited to get the LTE coverage in my area! Thanks Sprint (and nTelos)!
UPDATE March 4th 2015:
Are a Twitter conversation with a nTelous employee, Sprint will be working in it’s own network separate from nTelos who has already deployed their LTE in these areas. Sprint on the other hand is trying really hard to get their customer off the nTelos network and on to their own and deploying LTE. I have been experiencing my phone losing connection for a few moments and tends to connect to a extended network. The 3D connection is also much faster these days.
LTE towers are in Cave Spring Christiansburg Cloverdale Daleville Glen Lyn Hollins Low Moor Roanoke Salem Troutville Vinton