CFW, R&B AND PCS PRIMECO ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT FOR VIRGINIA PCS ALLIANCE TO ACQUIRE PCS SPECTRUM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 1996
WAYNESBORO, VA/DALLAS -- PCS PrimeCo, L.P. and CFW Communications Company (CFW), [NASDAQ: CFWC] and R&B Communications, Inc. (R&B) today 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 Commission.
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 wireless industry.
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 I-81 corridor.
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