Shentel closes $640M nTelos acquisition, commits $350M to upgrade to LTE

Sprint (NYSE: S) wholesale partner Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) closed on its acquisition of nTelos and said it will invest $350 million to upgrade to LTE and build out its network.

Shentel, which is based in Virginia, initially announced its intentions to buy fellow Sprint wholesaler nTelos last August in a deal valued at roughly $640 million. The move more than doubles the size of Shentel's customer base to more than 1 million.

NTelos provides wireless services in portions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The deal will see nTelos' brand discontinued and nearly 300,000 of its subscribers will become Sprint-branded customers. Additionally, nTelos' retail stores will be converted to Sprint-branded stores managed by Shentel.

"The most important news for customers is that Shentel will accelerate network upgrades in the current nTelos region throughout this year and next, which will give customers more coverage in more places, stronger signals and faster downloads," Shentel CEO Christopher French said in a press release. "We have committed to invest approximately $350 million as part of the expansion of the network and plan to add hundreds of additional coverage sites to provide an enhanced and more complete network for our customers."

NTelos posted 20,000 net subscriber adds in 2015, and reported $87.6 million in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2015, down from $96.7 million during the same period in 2014. It claimed 302,000 subscribers at the end of 2015 and was the eighth-largest service provider in the nation.

NTelos customers will be given access to Sprint's LTE roaming network free of charge, Shentel said, and users will be notified of offers to switch to Sprint.

For more:
- see this Shentel press release

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