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nTelos Q1 2013 conference call


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Hey guys,

 

Longtime lurker here and somewhat disappointed Sprint user due to living in an nTelos-controlled region (Roanoke, VA area). I'm eagerly awaiting the LTE rollout hopefully sometime this year, so I'm listening in on the nTelos conference call this morning. I'll try to update the thread if anything of interest comes up for this area regarding LTE.

 

It can be joined here:

 

http://services.chor...ntls130507.html

 

Presentation can be viewed here:

 

http://ir.ntelos.com...&T=&iid=4110676

  • Upgrading remaining 2G/1x towers to 3G/EVDO in the area this summer
  • Remain ontrack to launch LTE initially in their western markets by the end of 2013
  • Remain ontrack to complete the "initial launch" of LTE by the end of 2014 (ugh)
  • Believe they are important to Sprint and have a favorable position with Sprint past the end of their agreement
  • Wholesale revenue from Sprint actually dropped 1%, apparently tied to voice subscribers (isn't surprising Sprint people in this area were tired of dealing with their waiting game and jumped ship to Verizon which is fully rolled out here, even in super rural areas)

Edited by kelmelzer
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Ha, they apparently miss my monthly bill now that I've moved out of nTelos-land.

 

Somehow I can't see Softbank+Sprint renewing their wholesale deal unless nTelos gets the lead out and becomes far more aggressive in rolling out Sprint-compatible LTE. Shentel has really put nTelos to shame working just up the road.

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Ha, they apparently miss my monthly bill now that I've moved out of nTelos-land.

 

Somehow I can't see Softbank+Sprint renewing their wholesale deal unless nTelos gets the lead out and becomes far more aggressive in rolling out Sprint-compatible LTE. Shentel has really put nTelos to shame working just up the road.

 

Yes, you need to emphasize it more - Shentel has really put nTelos to shame working just up the road.

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Definitely. I have a good friend in Winchester that I've visited the past few months. I even talked him into leaving VZW for Sprint due to the great rollout there.

 

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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How can they feasibly expect to remain competitive if they don't complete their "initial LTE " until the end of 2014?

 

I can't help but think they want to be bought out.

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Found a copy of the transcript (thanks to SeekingAlpha) today, and here are some more updates/corrections to what I posted yesterday:

  • As the demand for 4G services grow, we remain on track to launch in our first LTE markets in the western portion of
    our footprint during the second half of 2013, and we expect to complete our initial rollout by the end of 2014.
    As Steb mentioned, we're also replacing the 2G equipment that remains on 12% of our cell sites to make them
    compatible with 3G EVDO. It should be noted that the upgrade to 3G at these cell sites is included on our
    previously announced CapEx guidance. Once complete, 100% of our network will run on either 3G or 4G LTE. Not only do we believe this investment makes our retail service more competitive in certain parts of our footprint, it will also drive incremental data usage and revenue from our wholesale agreement with Sprint and other roaming partners.
  • As it pertains our strategic network alliance with Sprint, we continue to work closely with them with a focus on
    our long-term partnership. We realize the importance of Sprint to our business and continue to believe we are
    favorably positioned to provide network services to them beyond the terms of our existing agreement.
  • (Re: percentage of sites with LTE) The end of 2014 will be 70% of POPs covered. It's a similar number of sites, it's not -- it's a little less than 70% of our sites to get there, but it's in the neighborhood.
  • (Re: billiing dispute/relationship with Sprint) Barry, as it relates to Sprint, I did mention in my prepared remarks that we continue to work closely with them, and I'd say we continue to have very good dialogue with Sprint and strongly believe we're in the best position to provide network services to them beyond the terms of our current agreement. As it relates to our open disputes, as I've said before, these types of billing issues come up from time to time in our business. And in this particular case, it certainly makes good sense for us to work towards resolution of those disputes in the context of our long-term partnership with Sprint. In terms of going into any kind of further detail or particular detail around our discussions or next steps and so on and so forth, that wouldn't be appropriate to do at this time, but certainly, as we have more to talk about, we'll be providing updates along the way.
  • (Re: Softbank/Clearwire/Dish being a big distraction for Sprint and engaging nTelos less past 6 months) Well, I wouldn't make any assumptions around the level of engagement. And likewise, I also won't comment in any detail on the level of engagement.
  • (Re: looking forward to rest of year) 4G is becoming a bigger part of the reality within our footprint each and every day, so we're going to continue to ramp up our 4G build and make sure that we're in a good position to continue to compete. Clearly, we're not being penalized today for not having launched 4G yet. (??????) But I don't know if we can necessarily count on that forever, which is, again, why we've got a very specific plan about how we're going to get to 4G.
  • (Re: 800mhz voice and lack of exclusivity pertaining to 4G) Q: "Shenandoah, on their call, last week mentioned that they're in the process down the street, not against you guys, of rolling out some voice on 800 service, 800 megahertz service. Have you noticed anything in your territory that would suggest or can Sprint do anything and deploy on 800?" A: Two questions there. Is there anything going on in the footprint? No. And voice on 800 could be done but it would have to be done through us. Q: "what does that mean, done through you?" A: Well, there's exclusivity language on our existing contract with Sprint, right, that's effectively anything sort of 3G and below in terms of services. Q: "Right. So 4G would be different but anything 3G data or voice would have to be done through you through the exclusivity period of July '15?" A: Correct.

There's hope maybe Sprint can do 4G rollouts on their own! Not sure how feasible that would be though...

Edited by kelmelzer
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I think it would be smarter to just buy nTelos than to step on their feet by rolling out with 3G/4G when the exclusivity is done.

 

Reduced roaming bill + expanded coverage + 500k subscribers who are mostly postpaid.

 

Doesn't nTelos own other telecommunication networks, like cable, landline and other wireless networks? The whole business would likely not be compatible with Sprint. Perhaps if they wanted to just spin off the wireless division. nTelos also offers AWS roaming. Sprint would probably sell off nTelos AWS spectrum.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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Doesn't nTelos own other telecommunication networks, like cable, landline and other wireless networks? The whole business would likely not be compatible with Sprint. Perhaps if they wanted to just spin off the wireless division. nTelos also offers AWS roaming. Sprint would probably sell off nTelos AWS spectrum.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

Pretty sure TMobile/At&t/Verizon would be in the market for a bit more AWS spectrum...

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Doesn't nTelos own other telecommunication networks, like cable, landline and other wireless networks? The whole business would likely not be compatible with Sprint. Perhaps if they wanted to just spin off the wireless division. nTelos also offers AWS roaming. Sprint would probably sell off nTelos AWS spectrum.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

They used to have a landline component. But they spun it off as a separate business in 2011(?). I believe it's called Lumos.

 

Yup: http://www.fiercetel...orks/2011-11-02

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nTelos doesn't seem like a forward thinking company. I mean, while you're busy upgrading these 2G sites to 3G EVDO why not add LTE while you're there? I could be wrong, but it seems like they're angling to be bought out by SprintBank at some point in the near future.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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nTelos doesn't seem like a forward thinking company. I mean, while you're busy upgrading these 2G sites to 3G EVDO why not add LTE while you're there? I could be wrong, but it seems like they're angling to be bought out by SprintBank at some point in the near future.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2

 

I almost wonder if they're purchasing legacy 3G equipment from Sprint and doing it on the cheap.

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Just buy these guys out, Masa. I'd make the same argument for mymobilenation in Kentucky and Tennessee, in mymobilenation's case it's an even bigger cluster, those guys started out as SI Wireless because they were originally funded by wireless co-ops there, and then didn't launch in Southern Illinois because they figured out that it probably wasn't wise to go up against Alltel down here that was already a discount CDMA provider. Then there's the matter of them deploying Huawei, where any matter of transaction is going to require Sprint to get rid of the Huawei gear and put in Ericsson instead.

 

That's just as big of a mess as nTelos is IMO.

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