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Update on ShenTel NV deployment from Q2 Earnings Call


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Doesn't look like anyone caught this on Friday. So here it is.

 

Shenandoah Telecom reported in Q2 2012 earnings on Friday, August 3. During the call they gave a brief update on the status of their NV deployment. For those that don't know, ShenTel is a Sprint affiliate that provides service under Sprint's name in western Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland and central Pennsylvania. Below are the highlights:

  • Have upgraded their switch.
  • 18 base stations are completed. Expect to ramp up pace soon.
  • Multiple Alcatel-Lucent crews working now.
  • Still targeting 274 base stations to be completed by end of year.
  • Still expect to have network upgrades completed by end of 2013.

Earnings transcript: http://seekingalpha....ipt?part=single

 

Other NV related responses to analyst questions:

 

 

 

Question:

 

Ric Prentiss - Raymond James

And on the project Vision, Earle you just mentioned you have done 18 base stations, but expected to ramp quickly; what’s kind of the gating factor; is it backhaul, is it, Sprint actually do they [hit birds] in some of their cell sites that were slowing them down, (inaudible) were a bit active, as you think about ramping up to try and hit the 274 at year end, what’s going to possibly slow you down and where are you at?

 

Answer:

Earle MacKenzie [EPV & COO]

At this point we have crews in place and have gotten the site work done that we expect that we can do two to three new sites a day going forward. We got a much later start than Sprint did as far as starting our planning and putting everything in place, but we have closed that gap very quickly; I would say that probably the thing that is the most stating at this point is the availability of equipment and not so much equipment from Lucent, but the particular piece parts that Lucent has sourced for various different suppliers; we had to get ramped up to get inventory heading to our location and that has now happened in the last 60 days. And so I think you will see when we announce at the end of the third quarter, we are going to probably add somewhere in the range of 50 plus sites a month going forward.

 

...

 

Greg Burns - Sidoti & Company

And then I know you haven't done many Vision base stations yet, but Sprint had mentioned that as they have been adding Vision base stations they have seen an increase of north of 10% I think almost 10% to 20% volume on those new base stations, as soon as they put them in, implying that roaming, and network roaming will be reduced. Have you seen any anecdotal evidence that as you are putting in base stations more traffic will be in those base stations?

Christopher French

The answer is no, we haven't, actually our thoughts are if there is increase usage, it could be because we purposely did not add or have not added a lot of the old 3G carriers, because they basically would have been thrown away and so we have been monitoring our sites very carefully and trying to be very judicious in adding new 3G carriers to the old base stations.

And so what we actually anticipate, but once again, I don't have enough information is that we may see additional volume simply because there could have been some blockage of 3G usage simply because it wasn’t enough capacity prior to upgrading the site; and upgrading the size we are going to add significant or adequate 3G capacity in addition to putting an LTE so that our customers can have a good experience.

Ric Prentiss - Raymond James

And then eventually you will get the lower frequency in there as well?

Christopher French

Well, yes, actually we – they have already harvested one carrier of 800 that they have given us that we are putting in as we are upgrading, but that one carrier is being used for voice at 800 and when they turn off the iDEN network then they will harvest the remainder of the 800 and the remainder of the 800 is planned to be used for LTE.

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Nice to see an update. Anyone know how many total sites Shentel will need to do? Any info on which sites have been done or a schedule on upcoming sites?

 

I believe ShenTel has stated they intend to get half of their towers completed by year end and the remaining half by the end of next year. That means they have about 550 to 600 sites total to upgrade. As far as any specific sites, I don't believe anyone has gotten any specific plans. These earnings calls are pretty much the only updates you'll see.

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I just emailed the VP of Network Planning and Engineering for ShenTel, asking for specifics. With a little luck, I'll hear back. We know the light turns on by end of 3Q, trying to find out where the signal will be beaming from at that time.

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This quote is very important in that it showed that IDEN thinning was not just about the money and verified it was for the Spectrum

 

Christopher French

Well, yes, actually we – they have already harvested one carrier of 800 that they have given us that we are putting in as we are upgrading, but that one carrier is being used for voice at 800 and when they turn off the iDEN network then they will harvest the remainder of the 800 and the remainder of the 800 is planned to be used for LTE.

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  • 1 month later...

Just saw some 4g here in Hagerstown today.

Lasted for 3-4 hours this morning downtown.

 

Saw about 12 down and 2.5 up.

 

Reverted back to 3g around noon.

 

Shentel doing some testing ?

Edited by Warlab
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Just saw some 4g here in Hagerstown today.

Lasted for 3-4 hours this morning downtown.

 

Saw about 12 down and 2.5 up.

 

Reverted back to 3g around noon.

 

Shentel doing some testing ?

 

Sure sounds like it. Thanks for the info. If it comes live again, perhaps you can upload these via the Sensorly app , so we can see the coverage plotted. Thanks in advance.

 

Robert

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There is another thread that got started where the op has about 7-8 speed test showing and a location screen also. He was getting up to 18mb down. It is the Western Md LTE thread.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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Sure sounds like it. Thanks for the info. If it comes live again, perhaps you can upload these via the Sensorly app , so we can see the coverage plotted. Thanks in advance.

 

Robert

 

Just installed and awaiting some more LTE :)

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