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C Spire Wireless Marks 25 Years of Continuous Operation with Renewed Focus on Superior Customer Service, Innovation and Technology Services

Carrier grows into nation’s largest privately held and longest continuously owned and operated wireless communications provider after humble beginnings on Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1988

Ridgeland, Miss. (February 4, 2013) – The Big Game may be over, but C Spire Wireless is celebrating its own big anniversary today – a quarter century of service as the nation’s longest continuously owned and operated wireless communications provider.

The Ridgeland-based company, which changed its brand name from Cellular South to C Spire Wireless in 2011, was launched 25 years ago in Gulfport on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with completion of the first call on its network between former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and then U.S. Rep. Trent Lott.

“While we opened our doors 25 years ago as a pure-play wireless provider, our dedication to putting the customer first and discovering new ways to improve their lives with technology has never wavered,” said Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire Wireless. “In fact, it’s a passionate obsession at C Spire, which is why we’ve continued to evolve and use innovation and technology to benefit our customers.”

From the early days with only nine employees, the family and employee-owned company has steadily grown to become the largest privately held wireless communications provider and the ninth largest overall in the U.S. with nearly 1 million subscribers. C Spire employs over 1,200 employees and generates a $1.5 billion incremental positive economic impact on local, state and regional economies in the Southeast through payroll, capital investments and corporate philanthropy.

“We’ve always put the customer at the center of everything we do and that’s one of the reasons we’ve had sustained success in one of the most competitive industries in the world,” Meena said, noting that C Spire has helped drive industry innovation and changes benefitting wireless consumers for over two decades.

In 1999, C Spire was the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer free incoming voice calls and one of the first to upgrade its network from analog to digital. Two years later, the company was the industry’s first to offer unlimited calling plans. The company also has been an industry trailblazer with the introduction of true unlimited voice and data plans and by encouraging the widespread adoption of the next generation of advanced smartphones. C Spire leads the nation with a 65 percent smartphone penetration rate.

But the biggest move came in 2011 when the company made a historic brand change and introduced an industry-first suite of personalized services for consumers and businesses. “By making the strategic decision to change our brand and refocus on personalized services, we positioned C Spire for sustained growth and success well into the future,” Meena said.

Since the introduction of the new brand and personalized services, C Spire has continued to take advantage of the newfound momentum, rapidly gaining popularity with customers for its suite of personalized services, including:

  • Growing adoption of SCOUT, a one-of-a-kind entertainment recommendations and personalization tool for apps, movies, books and music.
  • Sustained growth for PERCS, the nation’s only consumer engagement based program that rewards customers for personalizing their wireless experience.
  • Creation of the CIRCLE online community - a “destination” where C Spire customers and prospective customers can go to openly share ideas, opinions and actively participate in shaping and developing their wireless experience.
  • Expansion of is suite of personalized services with the introduction of NEWSLINK, a fully integrated and personalized news delivery service that finds the news and information that is relevant for each individual and delivers it daily.

The company moved aggressively in 2012 to expand its portfolio of smartphones – now offering some of the most iconic devices on the market with the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III – along with new shared data plans for consumers and businesses and the launch of a new C Spire Business Solutions unit offering businesses a suite of wireless, digital HD voice phone services and fixed-rate dedicated Internet access services.

Last year, the company also began the roll out of 4G LTE – the next generation of high speed mobile broadband services – offering consumers and businesses in 37 new markets data speeds up to 10 times faster than currently available. For its efforts, C Spire was named one of the top 50 technology innovators in the U.S. by InformationWeek and one of the 25 most influential companies in the U.S wireless industry by Fierce Markets.

C Spire can trace the roots of its success to the late 1940s and the purchase of a small telephone company in Calhoun County as well as the founding of two rural telephone companies – Franklin Telephone Co. in Meadville, Miss. and Delta Telephone Co. in Louise, Miss. The two companies allowed C Spire’s predecessor, Cellular South, to participate in federal lotteries for cellular licenses in the 1980s.

“The foundation those companies provided was crucial to establishing a business presence and a working knowledge of telecommunications that helped C Spire as we built and began operating a cellular network,” Meena said.

The future remains bright for C Spire as it continues its evolution into a more diversified wireless communications and technology services company. “When people look at our company down the road, I want them to remember us as innovators and early adopters with a passionate focus and drive to harness the power and potential of technology to enhance the quality of people’s lives.”

For more information on C Spire’s products and services, go to www.cspire.com.

About C Spire Wireless

C Spire Wireless is a diversified wireless communications company passionately committed to helping customers by personalizing wireless services designed just for them. The company is the first wireless provider in the U.S. to personalize customers’ experience by offering apps that fit who they are, services that anticipate their needs, and rewards for using their phone in new ways – all with seamless ease and at amazingly fast speeds. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire Wireless and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire or Google + or www.pinterest.com/cspirewireless