company centered in western Virginia
and West Virginia
. Originally operated under two names, CFW
, until it decided to go with the second name for all services and inexplicably
dropped the I
that made its name pronounceable. Provides local landline telephone
service and cable TV
in the Shenandoah Valley
area where it was born, and CDMA wireless
phone service covering most of the two states plus some bordering parts of Ohio
and North Carolina
Ntelos bought wireless licenses in Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina from PrimeCo in the Verizon Wireless assimilation shuffle of summer 2000. This led to a bunch of really annoying commercials featuring a huge blue footprint, claiming that Ntelos "has the largest digital footprint in the region." Their western VA coverage is extensive, I'll give them that, but the problem is that most people in Richmond and Hampton Roads don't care about western VA and would much rather have Northern Virginia/DC coverage, which Ntelos doesn't have.
As of January 2001, they still hadn't merged the two networks, either, although they claimed to be planning to do that sometime within "6 months or so." Therefore, customers from the western VA network (like me) can't receive voice mail notification or text messages while on the Richmond/HR/Outer Banks network (which is where I am during summer and winter breaks). Needless to say, this was a bit disturbing when I found that out over winter break (since they took care not to tell me when I bought the phone in Blacksburg).
Update 21 December 2001: as of 15 August 2001, the networks were merged (or at least a data bridge was put in place). My phone still says "Roaming" in Richmond, but the triangle indicating true roaming (like I get in NoVA/NYC/anywhere outside Ntelos territory) no longer displays, phone calls aren't classified as roaming on my bill, and I get text messages and voice mail notification.