| NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NTLS)
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NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NTELOS) is a regional provider of digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.
The Company offers wireless voice and digital data Personal Communications Services (PCS) products and services to retail and business customers under the Ntelos Wireless and FRAWG Wireless brand names. It conducts its business through NTELOS-branded retail operations, which sells its products and services via direct and indirect distribution channels and provide network access to other telecommunications carriers, notably through an arrangement with Sprint Spectrum, and Sprint Spectrum on behalf of and as an agent for SprintCom (Sprint Spectrum and SprintCom collectively, Sprint), which is referred to herein as the Strategic Network Alliance. It operates a 100% Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital PCS network in Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina with covered Population (POP).
The Company utilizes radio spectrum licensed to them by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide its wireless broadband mobile services to its customers. It holds licenses for all of the 1900 megahertz PCS spectrum used in its network. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated its CDMA network in 22 basic trading areas with licensed POPs and spectrum depth that generally range from 20 to 30 mega hertz. The Company also holds licenses in seven additional basic trading areas, which are considered excess spectrum.It holds seven Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses in seven cellular markets with licensed POPs and spectrum depth of 20 mega hertz, all of which are located within its existing PCS licensed markets. It holds a Wireless Communications Service (WCS) license in Columbus, OH (subject to a pending FCC Assignment Application) and BRS licenses in western Virginia (BRS was formerly known as MMDS) in portions of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland. With the exception of its BRS licenses, other spectrum is non-operational.
The Company focuses on unlimited services, which includes nationwide coverage through its wholesale relationship with Sprint and other roaming partners.Its nationwide plans account for approximately 88% of its postpay subscribers and nearly 59% are smartphone users, the result of value-based talk, text, data and handset promotions and the increased variety and usefulness of mobile applications.
The Company offers ten brands across 27 devices, including the Apple iPhone 4, 4S and 5, and offers its customers the primary smartphone operating systems including Android, iOS and Blackberry. All devices are available for both postpay and prepay/no-contract services. Its value proposition typically offers savings to end users compared to national providers, and is coupled with local service and support. As of December 31, 2012, its wireless retail business had approximately 439,600 NTELOS retail subscribers, representing approximately 7.3% of its total covered POPs.
The Company's customer service is supported by three regional call centers, 64 company-operated direct retail locations, approximately 430 indirect retail distribution locations and an additional 200 third-party payment centers. It also offers an interactive Web presence, which provides customers with access to their account, auto-pay billing service, account monitoring services such as overage text alerts and other customer care support.
The Company also markets FRAWG Wireless, a no contract service intended to attract consumers who choose a prepay service option. FRAWG Wireless is a simple, low cost service that has a minimum number of plans, offers attractive features and provides national or regional coverage. This no contract option generally has a higher retail price on the handset and offers a variety of pricing plans that meet or beat competitive price points.
The Company provides wireless digital PCS services on a wholesale basis to other PCS providers, notably through the Strategic Network Alliance with Sprint in which it has the exclusive PCS service provider in itr western Virginia and West Virginia service area for all Sprint CDMA wireless customers through July 31, 2015, subject to subsequent automatic three-year extensions unless the termination notice provisions are exercised.
As of December 31, 2012, it had 1,429 cell sites in operation and owned 119 of these cell sites and leased the remaining 1,310 cell sites (approximately 92%). Of the leased cell sites, 546 (approximately 42%) are installed on structures controlled by two tower companies, Crown Communications and American Tower.
The Company has deployed 3G 1xRTT CDMA digital PCS technology at all 1,429 cell sites, and it has upgraded 1,232 cell sites (or approximately 86% of its total cell sites) to 3G EV-DO technology as of December 31, 2012. EV-DO technology provides them with the technical ability to support high speed mobile wireless data services. It plans to replace all its remaining legacy 1xRTT base stations with new base stations that support EV-DO technology.
The Company competes with Clearwire , DISH Network, Boost, Straight Talk, Page Plus, Virgin Mobile, TracFone, Simple Mobile and Net10.
More Information for NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NTLS):
Company Website - http://www.ntelos.com
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