UPDATED: North State completes deal with AT&T

Aug. 01, 2013 @ 11:41 AM

UPDATED 11:40 A.M.

North State Communications has completed its previously announced deal with AT&T that includes the sale of its wireless assets in the High Point and Greensboro areas and a store at N. Main Street and Parris Avenue.
But the High Point-based telecommunications company emphasizes that the pact with AT&T isn’t a sale of the entire company, and that North State remains committed to its long-term future.
In announcing the deal late last year, the companies said North State would receive an infusion of $23.5 million.
“AT&T previously had a longstanding agreement with North State. However, we’ve decided it makes sense for us to own and operate our wireless network in this part of North Carolina,” AT&T spokeswoman Cathy Lewandoski said Thursday.
The deal covered 26,000 former wireless customers of North State, Lewandoski told The High Point Enterprise. North State will retain its wireline customers.
AT&T also acquired North State’s retail store at 2300 N. Main St.
“North State’s former wireless customers can visit this location for wireless needs,” Lewandoski said.
A North State executive said the company, founded in High Point as a rural telephone exchange 118 years ago, will continue to look for growth opportunities.
“Over the last four years, we’ve invested more than $100 million in residential and business expansion. We are committed to providing the Triad and neighboring communities access to the communications, entertainment, broadband and data services they want and need,” said Royster Tucker III, president and chief operating officer of North State.
For the past three years, some shareholders of North State have pressured the company to consider a sale of North State overall. But the current management of North State has rejected those efforts, and the current independent ownership and management of the company was affirmed at its annual shareholders meeting earlier this year.
In a statement Thursday, North State said that the company “has seen strong growth over the past few years by realigning its services, investing in expansion and supporting its communities in numerous ways.”
North State says it recently opened a new data center location in Raleigh and plans to expand into Charlotte next year.
In addition to employing nearly 400 workers, making it one of the top 20 largest employers in High Point, North State has been a corporate donor to a wide array of community causes. North State says it supports more than 75 Piedmont groups and agencies each year.

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North State Communications has completed its previously announced deal with AT&T that includes the sale of its wireless assets in the High Point and Greensboro areas and a store at N. Main Street and Parris Avenue.
The companies announced the deal late last year, which involves North State receiving an infusion of $23.5 million.
“AT&T previously had a longstanding agreement with North State. However, we’ve decided it makes sense for us to own and operate our wireless network in this part of North Carolina,” AT&T spokeswoman Cathy Lewandoski said Thursday.
The deal covered 26,000 former wireless customers of North State, Lewandoski said. North State will retain its wireline customers.
AT&T also acquired North State’s retail store at 2300 N. Main St.
“North State’s former wireless customers can visit this location for wireless needs,” Lewandoski said.
AT&T reports that it spent more than $1.5 billion from 2010 through 2012 on its wireless and wireline networks in North Carolina, with a focus on expanding 4G LTE mobile Internet coverage.
“In the longer term, we expect that former North State customers will benefit as we continue to expand our 4G LTE network ... which we expect will eventually cover these customers,” Lewandoski said.