Epic PCS Relocation Begins With 2 Wireless Companies
KSCB News - December 4, 2014 4:13 pm
In a sweeping move to merge the rapidly changing high speed data technology for its wireless customers with the cell phone industry’s extensive changes driven by the FCC, Epic Touch Co. of Elkhart has begun a migration of its wireless division to two separate companies, PTCI in Oklahoma and United Wireless in Kansas.
In an agreement between the three companies, the Kansas side of Epic PCS will be purchased by United Wireless of Dodge City, Kan. and the Oklahoma side of Epic PCS will be bought by PTCI of Guymon, Okla. PTCI will acquire some of the Epic PCS towers, spectrum and the store located in Guymon’s Northridge Shopping Center. Likewise United will acquire some of the towers, spectrum and the store located in Liberal’s Coronado Plaza.
The migration will be concluded with FCC approval within the next six months and until then Epic PCS will continue to provide service to its wireless customers.
The agreement does not affect Epic Touch Co.’s landline, internet and cable television divisions.
“The migration is an economic decision,” said Micheal Shannon, assistant manager of Epic Touch Co. “For small rural companies with a smaller customer base the cost of providing wireless service is financially impossible due to loss of federal funding under the current administration. We cannot compete with other carriers that have more than 15-20,000 customers allowing them to spread the cost of improvements across the board and provide the consumer with affordable wireless service.
“With their larger customer bases, PTCI and United Wireless serve the areas well and can provide faster data speeds that the wireless consumer demands.”
"PTCI’s wireless goal is to connect the Oklahoma Panhandle with the rest of the world over the best network possible," said Shawn Hanson, PTCI’s CEO, "and this is where the acquisition of the Epic PCS assets comes in. The additional towers, radio spectrum and business office space we are receiving will only enhance our efforts to reach this goal, and we are pleased to have been able to negotiate this agreement."
According to their General Manager Craig Mock, “United Wireless Communications is excited to be a part of this customer oriented transaction. The acquisition of the Epic PCS wireless spectrum, the additional towers and the enhanced partnership with PTCI in the Oklahoma panhandle will allow us to provide an even better customer experience with our state-of-the-art 4G LTE wireless services.
“We will also consolidate our retail presence in Liberal to the store location in the Coronado Plaza. This will provide a convenient location for both our new and existing customers.
“We look forward to welcoming our new Epic PCS customers to the United Wireless family, and encourage them to come in and see the exciting new phones we offer, including the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5, and experience the benefits of the new 4G LTE network that this transaction makes available to them.”
“Over the past 14 years, Epic PCS has provided wireless service locally and because we value our customers we will continue that service and support through the migration,” Shannon said.
Because the Elkhart area is 100% fiber optics to each home, business, farm and ranch in its territory installed and finished by Epic Touch Co. some two years ago, Epic will offer new advances in the cable, internet and landline services. Bob and Dian Boaldin, owners of Epic Touch Co., will continue to focus on customers and their community, according to Shannon.
“Epic Touch Co. is 58 years strong and we look forward to the next 58 years,” Shannon said.