Iowa Network Services and Western Wireless Form Joint Venture to Expand PCS Footprint in Iowa.
The partnership, Iowa Wireless Services L.P. (IWS), will make PCS available to 2.3 million Iowans and will market its wireless services under the VoiceStream Wireless(R) brand name.
"We will build INS quality into the wireless network that serves both rural and urban Iowa," said INS President William P. Bagley. "This partnership brings together the strengths of the INS statewide fiber optic network and the VoiceStream technology for a superior product. Together we will offer more Iowans state-of-the-art PCS technology at affordable prices."
INS is the general partner of the joint venture, bringing extensive services and knowledge of the local Iowa market to the partnership. Western Wireless is a limited partner, contributing wireless industry expertise and a portion of the 30 MHz PCS spectrum the company received during the A and B Block auctions conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Upon completion of the statewide wireless network, the companies will have invested over $150 million in the partnership.
"Our partnership with Iowa Network Services will ensure the continued rapid deployment of VoiceStream's completely digital wireless service in Iowa," Western Wireless Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stanton said. "In addition to expanding our reliable, secure wireless services for our current customers in Iowa, we will extend our competitive pricing."
Charles Scott, 40, was named chief executive officer of the new partnership. Scott has 17 years of experience in the telecommunications industry including management of start-up wireless cellular operations. "Both partners bring complementing strengths to Iowa Wireless Services. IWS will be Iowa's most comprehensive digital wireless network covering both urban and rural areas," Scott said.
Western Wireless launched its VoiceStream Wireless service in the Des Moines metropolitan area in December 1996 using the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology. Iowa Wireless Services L.P. will extend the GSM network statewide. GSM is the dominant global digital technology standard for PCS providing secure, private, high-quality service to more than 44 million customers in 109 countries including the United States and Canada.
Iowa Network Services was created in 1988 when 128 of Iowa's independent telephone companies joined together to provide competitive long distance service to their customers in over 300 Iowa towns. INS owns a statewide fiber optic network with major switching centers in Des Moines and Kamrar, Iowa, and serves homes and offices throughout the state with long distance, 800 numbers, voice messaging, Internet access, fax services, paging, video conferencing, cellular switching and high capacity networks, bringing the latest in technology to rural Iowa.
Based in Issaquah, Wash., Western Wireless Corp. is a leading provider of wireless communications services in the western United States. It currently offers PCS services marketed under the VoiceStream(R) Wireless brand in ten states. The company provides cellular service marketed under the Cellular One(R) brand in 15 western states. Western Wireless' combined cellular and PCS licenses, along with its investment in Cook Inlet PCS, cover about 59 percent of the land in the continental United States plus the Hawaiian Islands. -0-
VoiceStream(R) Wireless is a registered trademark of Western Wireless Corporation.
CONTACTS: Western Wireless Corp.
Susan Sercu, 425/313-7877
Iowa Network Services
Dick Vohs, 515/830-0474
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|Date:||Oct 9, 1997|
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