Virginia-based mobile operator nTelos has announced that it has agreed to sell its ‘Eastern Markets’ operations to T-Mobile US, following an extensive internal review. As such, the cellco will sell its 1900MHz PCS wireless spectrum licences covering Hampton Roads/Norfolk and Richmond to T-Mobile for approximately USD56.0 million in cash, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The sale is expected to close in April 2015, and the subscribers themselves are expected to transfer to another carrier. Following the deal, nTelos will preside over a base of just 277,100 mobile users.
nTelos’ network currently covers around six million people, and this figure will be halved when it sells off its Eastern Markets. Further, the company’s number of cell sites will decline from 1,446 to 998 in the Western Markets (West Virginia and western Virginia), where it intends to operate exclusively. Once the frequency sale closes, nTelos will lease back a portion of the spectrum to continue operations in those areas until 15 November 2015. Going forward, the company notes that it may look to sell other non-core assets, including owned towers and un-deployed spectrum.