SOURCE: Cellular South

February 20, 2007 10:50 ET

State Calls on Cellular South

Cellular South Named Exclusive Cellular Provider for State of Mississippi

JACKSON, MS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 20, 2007 -- Cellular South, the nation's largest privately held wireless provider, today announced it was awarded the State of Mississippi cellular contract, after a competitive bidding process. This contract will make the Mississippi-based company the designated cellular service provider for the agencies and institutions of the State of Mississippi.

"Winning the state contract is one more example of how Cellular South continues to outshine our competition with the best wireless service in the region," said Terrell Knight, director of business development for Cellular South. "We understand the tremendous responsibility of keeping Mississippi connected at all times, which is why we were awarded the contract and why we continue to invest in upgrading our network."

Decided by a unanimous vote by the Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission, Cellular South won the rigorous six-month competitive bidding process by out-scoring three national wireless providers by demonstrating its leadership and strength in the following areas defined by the state's contract criteria:

--  Competitive pricing
--  Network coverage
--  Future build out
--  Emergency preparation of past, present and future
--  Data capabilities and coverage
--  Implementation process
    
"We had two primary goals for this procurement: first, to achieve cost savings for state government through lower cellular rates; second, to encourage a company to invest in the build out of cellular infrastructure for improved cellular coverage and expanded wireless services throughout the state," said David Litchliter, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services. "This contract is a long-term commitment between the State and our selected vendor and we believe the partnership we have established with Cellular South will accomplish our goals, to the benefit of state government as well as the entire citizenry and business community of our state."

Under the terms of the five-year contract, Cellular South will provide its premier cellular phone service to the State of Mississippi and all of its eligible entities -- enhancing the state's wireless coverage, capacity and network reliability for dependable communications in any situation.

"As the Cellular Committee evaluated the proposals, it became evident that Cellular South's network investments, drive for wireless innovation and overall dedication to Mississippians made them the obvious choice for the State of Mississippi's cellular communications needs," said Clovis Reed, chairman of the Cellular Committee and member of the Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission. "Not only will state agencies benefit from this, but our citizens, particularly those living in rural areas, will soon realize improved cellular communications."

Cellular South already serves an extensive list of state department customers, including Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi Army National Guard, Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Employment Security Commission and all universities, among many others.

"Mississippi continues to make great strides to rebuild and move forward post-Katrina, and companies like Cellular South have played a crucial role in making that happen," said Senator Thomas King. "As a Mississippi-based company, Cellular South is a name we can trust, and awarding them the state contract is a positive move for all Mississippians."

Since 1999, Cellular South has invested more than $500 million in its network infrastructure to improve call quality and coverage, and further increase capacity for data usage, including text and picture messaging, accessing the Internet, sending and receiving email and downloading music. In 2006 alone, the company invested nearly $100 million in network and technology enhancements throughout Mississippi, including 200 new cellular sites, a high-speed wireless broadband network (EV-DO), a permanent microwave ring for redundancy across the Gulf Coast region and the construction a brand new, state-of-the-art Technical Operations Center in the heart of Jackson, Miss.

About Cellular South

Cellular South is the largest privately held wireless provider in the U.S. The company is focused on providing the best service possible through its nationwide wireless voice and data network, award-winning customer care, state-of-the-art wireless devices, and commitment to the communities it serves. Cellular South was recently honored with the 2005 Wireless Week Excellence Award, 2006 Newcomen Award, and a concurrent resolution from the Mississippi Legislature commending the executives and employees of Cellular South for the company's extraordinary efforts in Hurricane Katrina's wake. For more information, visit www.cellularsouth.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Jim Richmond
    Director - Corporate Communications
    Cellular South
    Email Contact
    601.974.7504