C Spire Wireless Today
Subscribers and Coverage
C Spire serves approximately one million wireless subscribers, and owns over 1,500 cell sites. It services markets in Mississippi, as well as Memphis and parts of Alabama and Louisiana.
Spectrum and Technology
In 2012, C Spire purchased $192 million worth of 700 MHz spectrum, which is considered to be some of the most valuable due to its ability to travel long distances and penetrate obstacles. Their goal was to deploy a 4G LTE network to service its entire customer base. However, due to some equipment incompatibilities (and costs), brought on my AT&Ts manipulation of the 700 MHz band, C Spire has been unable to complete this objective. They currently risk penalties from the FCC if they do not manage to utilize their 700 MHz licenses.
C Spire also owns AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz) and PCS spectra, which they have used (in tangent with a roaming agreement with Sprint) to expand their LTE network in over 30 cities in Mississippi, which number is scheduled to rise to 71 by year-end. C-Spire has said that they will also expand LTE coverage into Alabama and Florida by 2013 year-end.
In May, 2013, C Spire teamed up with TowerCo, to promote cell site collocation across C Spire’s network.
In June of 2013, Leap agreed to sell C Spire 10 MHz of its PCS (1.9 GHz) license, based in Biloxi, Mississippi, which deal is currently under review by the FCC.
AT&T is currently negotiating a transaction with C Spire, wherein AT&T would acquire 21,000 rural Alabama subscribers from C Spire’s subsidiary, Corr Wireless. In addition to the consumer base, AT&T would gain 25 MHz of Cellular (850 MHz) spectrum in three counties; 10-15 MHz of PCS (1.9 GHz) spectrum in 25 counties; and 12 MHz of C-Block 700 MHz spectrum in 58 counties.
Evolution of C-Spire Wireless
C Spire Wireless (Cellular South) 1988 – present
- Cellular South owned by Telapex, Inc, a privately held company, began serving wireless consumers in 1988 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast using AMPS technology. Telapex also owns Telepak Networks, a provider of wireless services and several small Mississippi-based telecoms.
- In 2009, Cellular South purchased Alabama-based Corr Wireless, expanding its coverage into Georgia.
- In 2011, Cellular South rebranded as C Spire Wireless.