Monday, May 19, 2014

Cellular One in Montana Shuts Down

A sharp-eyed reader in Montana has reported that Cellular One (MTPCS) of Montana has decided to discontinue service as of the end of July, 2014.   This leaves some rural properties still being operated by this Cellular One in Lousiana and Texas, and the Broadpoint network in the Gulf of Mexico.  As with many shrinking local operators, Cellular One couldn't find a buyer for their network or their spectrum.  AT&T will offer some discounts for Cellular One switchers and they also offer superior coverage on the old Alltel network.

Over the years we have been checking in with Cellular One to see if we could update our Montana coverage maps and found indeed, none of the areas shown as "future coverage" ever materialized.  Also, Cellular One's Rating slips down a notch due to their need to roam on other networks for urban coverage.

It's also a shame that no other operator will step in take over the network.  Even at "free" the network must be too expensive to operate.  I'm sure we will hear more stories like this.


Anonymous said...

This is sad, because Montana has NO native T-Mobile or Sprint coverage! T-Mobile roams on AT&T, in MT and also did on Cellular One. If AT&T won't buy the Cellular One network, this is going to leave more GSM coverage holes. Sprint's prepaid brands, Boost Mobile & Virgin Mobile don't work AT ALL in Montana, not even for calls. Verizon's coverage seems to be a little more widespread in MT than AT&T. A MVNO on the Verizon network is probably the best choice now.

Anonymous said...

The article isn't correct about a buyer. MTPCS said in comments filed at the FCC that it sold its Montana spectrum licenses and network.

Anonymous said...

Nevertheless, they said they had to shut it down because the FCC decreased rural funding for wireless companies while keeping it in place for old fashioned phone companies. MTPCS was the only company serving some areas so those customers are left with no wireless service.