wireless cellular tower

The price has been set for T-Mobile to buy the Shentel wireless business that operated for years under the Sprint brand. Based on evaluations by three independent valuation providers, the purchase price has been set at $1.95 billion.

The Shentel wireless network operates in parts of rural Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. According to a T-Mobile Form 8-K filing, the area served is home to about 1.1 million subscribers.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Some History

Several months after T-Mobile merged with Sprint last year, T-Mobile told Shentel that it wanted to exercise its option to purchase Shentel’s wireless operations. Shentel, however, disputed the price that T-Mobile offered.

T-Mobile’s option to purchase Shentel wireless assets dates back to a 1999 management agreement made between Sprint and Shentel giving Sprint the option to purchase the assets based on an appraisal process detailed in the agreement, according to the T-Mobile 8-K filing.

According to a press release issued today, T-Mobile and Shentel had agreed that the determination of the “entire business value” through the now-completed appraisal process would be final and binding.

In addition to the wireless business, Shentel has broadband and tower businesses, but the wireless business traditionally has been responsible for a large part of the company’s revenues. The company may not be getting out of the wireless business completely, however.

Bidding as Shenandoah Cable Television, the company won 262 spectrum licenses in 74 counties in the recent CBRS auction – although it isn’t clear whether the company will use the spectrum for fixed or mobile service.

Since T-Mobile merged with Sprint, the merged company has been taking steps to gain more control over its wireless network. Last month, for example, T-Mobile bought Sprint-branded operations from Brooking Municipal Utilities in Iowa and South Dakota.

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