CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Parkersburg will be the next part of West Virginia to see 4G LTE service from nTelos Wireless. Company officials said the high-speed data service could be available there, along with parts of Winchester, Va. and Hagerstown, Md., before the end of September.
At that point, more than half of nTelos’ existing customers, throughout its service area inside and outside of West Virginia, would have access to 4G LTE, according to company officials. That service provides faster data speeds, quicker network response times and more efficient usage of the wireless spectrum.
Mike Minnis, director of public relations for nTelos Wireless, said customers are demanding the faster service. “As data applications become more and more prevalent in how folks use their smartphones, it’ll enhance their wireless experience,” he said.
Cell phones, he noted, are no longer primarily used for calls.
“The data applications, how people are using their phones, whether it’s for weather, whether it’s for GPS, music, just any number of things that people maybe used their computer for before are now using smartphone devices,” Minnis said. “We’re seeing tremendous demand for additional data.”
nTelos is already offering 4G LTE service in Beckley and Bluefield. That service launched there last December along with parts of Virginia.
This year, Minnis estimated the company would spend $45 million on expansion efforts and more than $150 million total over the course of the next 36 months. He said the goal is to fully cover the state with 4G LTE service by 2016.
nTelos, which operates regionally in seven states, is not alone in its expansion efforts. National carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are working to expand 4G LTE service in West Virginia as well. The coverage maps, up to this point, vary by carrier.