nTelos closing up shop

Published 11:28 pm Friday, December 19, 2014

A local wireless company says its customers won’t see any interruption in service as it goes through the process of transitioning out of the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets.

However, nTelos customers will have to end their service by November of next year, at the latest, when the company plans its service to be over.

“If you’re a customer now, your service is working just like always,” said Mike Minnis, director of public relations for nTelos.

Email newsletter signup

Customers who are still with the company in June 2015, however, will receive letters telling them to switch their cellular service to another carrier. Early termination fees will be waived.

The company announced earlier this month it was exiting the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets and selling its wireless spectrum to T-Mobile. It didn’t, however, sell its towers, stores or customers.

“After a pretty extensive review of the Richmond and Hampton Roads markets looking at the competitive environment, accessibility of affordable spectrum, the cost to build out an LTE network with the necessary amount of spectrum, there’s not enough return to be able to make that investment and be competitive,” Minnis said. “The decision was made to exit the marketplace.”

The agreement is expected to be approved in April. In the meantime, customers will still get their bill and can continue using the service the way they normally do.

“We’ll work with the customers, as they desire, to transition to other carriers,” Minnis said. “We’ll have an exit plan that the service is over by November of 2015.”

The company already has shuttered 17 of its 24 stores in Hampton Roads and Richmond. Employees were offered severance packages, Minnis said.

Four stores remain in Hampton Roads. “They can do anything they have always done in those stores except add new lines of service or renew their contract,” Minnis said.

The company has about 180,000 customers in the two markets. Customers will receive communications directly with details on what to expect, Minnis said.