One million potential customers at stake in acquisition of Corr
by Stephen McDill
Published: October 18,2009
Cellular South announced Friday its company’s planned acquisition of a regional Alabama wireless provider.
The country’s largest privately owned wireless communications carrier said it plans to take over Corr Wireless, a leading wireless carrier headquartered in Oneonta, Ala. with coverage areas in northeastern Alabama and Georgia. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
With this purchase, Cellular South will now be able to offer its services to more
than a million residents in the cities of Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, and Gadsden, plus the counties of Blount, Cullman, Marshall, Dekalb and Jackson in Alabama, as well as Rome, Ga.
“We think it’s a good move,” Corr Wireless CEO Bryan A. Corr told the MBJ on Friday. “We’re a family owned business like Cellular South and have been in the telecommunications business for almost a hundred years. Telecom has gotten to be a business of giants… it’s growing extremely rapidly with all the mergers taking place.”
Corr said that while the telecommunications industry has not been harmed by the recession, it has outgrown smaller companies like Corr Wireless. One increasing problem that these companies are facing is with vendors.
“Everybody has voicemail on their cell phone and most of these voicemail machines are deployed by carriers with over a million customers. We only have forty thousand,” Corr said. “It’s difficult to find hardware for this. The vendors are building things to scales that are way over us.”
Corr adds that
the company elected to move all of its customers and 130 employees under the umbrella of Cellular South because the visions and philosophies of both companies go hand-in-hand. “Both Corr Wireless and Cellular South are dedicated to providing customers with the best service, network and value,” he said.
Cellular South corporate communications director Jim Richmond said the Corr Wireless acquisition is “a significant milestone” and an “important step” for the company’s growth plans. “Our first acquisition was in 2000 when we acquired licenses, towers, retail locations and customers to expand our footprint in coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle,” Richmond said. “During the 2008 FCC auction of the 700MHz spectrum, we were able to acquire licenses that cover virtually all of Mississippi and Tennessee and most of Alabama. Corr Wireless is strategically located in the licensed-area we purchased.”
Richmond says that since it’s founding in 1988, Cellular South has successfully operated and experienced year-by-year growth without any mergers, acquisitions or name changes of its own, changes that are common in the wireless industry. “That continuity and stability is a major strength and one of the things that helps differentiate us from our competitors,” Miller said. “Our employees have an extremely strong work ethic and are constantly looking for new approaches that will improve the quality of our service. I think it’s that competitive spirit, talent and enthusiasm that makes all the difference.”
The Corr Wireless acquisition will help Cellular South springboard its expansion into Alabama, growth includes the new Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, the leading 4G technology that will enable interactive TV, mobile video blogging, advanced games and other wireless applications and services. Richmond says that most major carriers have committed to using LTE in the future. “Wireless service has really become a necessity for consumers and we’ve seen a continued trend that people are exclusively using wireless communication to stay connected,” he says. “Because of our similarities, focus on customer service, the location of Corr Wireless and their valuable spectrum, retail locations, customers and experienced wireless professionals, we determined it was a good fit and smart move to help us get our LTE network to market faster.”
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