FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 1996size = +1>
CFW, R&B AND PCS PRIMECO ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT FOR
PCS ALLIANCE TO ACQUIRE PCS SPECTRUM
WAYNESBORO, VA/DALLAS -- PCS PrimeCo, L.P. and CFW
Company (CFW), [NASDAQ: CFWC] and R&B Communications, Inc. (R&B)
announced that the Virginia PCS Alliance, L.C. (Alliance), a
consortium of ten independent telephone companies, has signed an
agreement to acquire from PrimeCo a portion of its 30 MHz personal
communications services (PCS) radio spectrum license covering central
and southwest Virginia. The acquisition price for the license is
approximately $16 million. The sale is subject to approval of a
partitioning plan to be filed with the Federal Communications
Under the terms of the agreement, the Alliance will be able to deploy
PCS to 1.2 million potential customers (POPS) within the Richmond
Major Trading Area (MTA), specifically throughout the Roanoke,
Staunton, Lynchburg, Danville and Martinsvillle Basic Trading Areas
(BTAs) and the counties of Brunswick and Mecklenberg. As managing
partner of the Alliance, CFW will build and manage the PCS system,
using the same technology platform (CDMA) as PrimeCo, with service
expected to be provided in initial areas by mid 1997.
"This agreement ensures a rapid deployment of PCS services to the
residents of central and southwest Virginia where CFW, R&B and its
other Alliance members already have a strong, local presence," said
Benjamin L. Scott, president and chief executive officer of PCS
PrimeCo. "After working with the Alliance on this partition, it
becomes clear that we share a common vision to enable ubiquitous
delivery of PCS services, which ultimately will benefit both the
Alliance's and PrimeCo's customers nationwide through our mutual goal.
This is a great example of a win-win situation -- for PrimeCo, the
Alliance and the citizens of Virginia."
"This agreement represents a significant expansion of our existing
wireless mobile communications business," said James S. Quarforth,
president and chief executive officer of CFW and chairman of the
alliance. "We will be capitalizing on our existing regional
infrastructure and market presence to expedite the deployment of PCS
services to rural Virginia."
"We are indeed excited to be a part of this consortium and look
forward to working with our friends at CFW in providing digital
wireless communications services to customers throughout western
Virginia," said J. Allen Layman, president and CEO of R&B
Communications. "Wireless will be a significant growth area for the
telecommunications industry. This agreement enhances our current
wireless service offerings and assures that R&B will be a major
participant in bringing the next generation of advanced
telecommunications services to the region."
CFW also announced that Walter M. Zirkle joined CFW as vice president
and chief operating officer - PCS Operations, bringing over fifteen
years of experience in telephony and wireless telecommunications.
Since 1990, Zirkle was a principal in Essex Communications Partners, a
telecommunications management and consulting firm specializing in the
The Alliance's members include CFW Communications Company and R&B
Communications, Inc., the two largest shareholders; Bugg Island
Telephone Cooperative; Hardy Telecommunications, Inc; Highland
Telephone Cooperative; MGW Communications, Inc.; New Hope Telephone
Cooperative; North River Telephone Cooperative; Pembroke Telephone
Cooperative; and Peoples Mutual Telephone Company.
PCS is the next generation of wireless services characterized by a
digital portable wireless telecommunications service capable of
handling both voice and text messaging and other enhanced features.
In 1995, the FCC completed the auction of two 30 MHz spectrum licenses
and is expected to complete the current auction of one 30 MHz spectrum
license in the coming months.
PCS PrimeCo the four-way PCS partnership of AirTouch [NYSE: ATI], Bell
Atlantic [NYSE: BEL], NYNEX [NYSE: NYN], and US WEST Media Group
[NYSE: UMG], owns PCS licenses in 11 major trading areas covering more
than 57 million potential customers. The company paid $1.1 billion
dollars for the licenses in the A/B Block FCC auction in 1995. The
combined cellular and PCS properties of PrimeCo and its owners include
19 of the top 20 U.S. markets covering nearly 170 million people in 46
states and the District of Columbia. The partnership plans to deliver
to customers products and services that are simple, easy to use and
buy as well as seamless nationwide service. PCS PrimeCo plans to
launch its PCS wireless services to customers by the end of this year.
CFW Communications Company is a diversified telecommunications company
that provides a broad range of products and services to business and
residential customers in Virginia through six operating divisions.
The company's divisions include local telephone, regional network
services, cellular and paging, directory assistance, communications
services and wireline and wireless cable television. The
communications services division provides voicemail, business systems
and security products. The regional network services division
provides competitive access and internet access.
R&B Communications is a diversified telecommunications company that
provides local telephone, paging, voice mail, cellular phone, and
Internet services throughout southwest Virginia. R&B also provides
wireless cable television services, sells business telephone systems,
and operates fiber optic networks in the Roanoke Valley and along the
for more information, contact:
- CFW Communications, Michael B. Moneymaker, (540) 946-3531
PCS PrimeCo, Stacey Mironov, (817) 258-1531
R&B Communications, J. Allen Layman, (540) 966-2200