nTelos investors ‘spooked’ by Sprint overbuild plans

20 Aug 2013

Investors in Virginia-based mobile operator nTelos Wireless are reportedly concerned at rumours that Sprint Corporation plans to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage in portions of selected nTelos markets as early as next year. According to RCR Wireless which cites a report by FBR Capital, Sprint is considering outsourcing the planned network build to its affiliate, Shenandoah Telecommunications (ShenTel), which currently serves an adjacent area. nTelos is currently a Sprint roaming partner, providing CDMA services to Sprint customers that roam into its markets, as well as tapping Sprint for nationwide roaming coverage.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the so-called ‘Strategic Network Alliance’ is due to expire on 31 July 2015, subject to an automatic three-year extension. nTelos has previously reported that the agreement provides a minimum of USD9 million per month in revenues. The recent flurry of M&A activity in the US has prompted industry insiders to tout nTelos as a possible takeover candidate, and Sprint’s aggressive rollout strategy may yet force the smaller firm’s hand.