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Pioneer to buy CellularOne assets in five Oklahoma counties
[November 17, 2011]

Pioneer to buy CellularOne assets in five Oklahoma counties

KINGFISHER, Nov 17, 2011 (The Oklahoman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Pioneer Cellular has agreed to purchase CellularOne's subscribers, wireless network and retail stores in five western Oklahoma counties.

The deal, which includes all CellularOne assets in Beckham, Custer, Dewey, Roger Mills and Washita counties, would add the cities of Weatherford, Clinton and Elk City to Pioneer's service area.

The transaction, expected to close in early 2012, is subject to regulatory approval.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Pioneer is the dominant rural cellular provider in Western Oklahoma, Pioneer General Manager Richard Ruhl said.

Pioneer serves more than 150,000 customers, most in 37 Oklahoma counties west of Interstate 35, Ruhl said.

The company also serves customers in 14 southern Kansas counties.

'Always possibilities' Ruhl wouldn't rule out further acquisitions by Pioneer.

"There are always possibilities," he said. "It's a very dynamic and changing industry." Pioneer currently offers 3G service to all of its customers, and has been "aggressively" expanding its offering of 4G LTE wireless network in concert with Verizon, Ruhl said.

"This acquisition demonstrates the commitment of Pioneer Cellular to expand our wireless business and at the same time our desire to improve the quality of wireless service and coverage area, not only to the CellularOne customers, but also to the existing Pioneer Cellular customers," he said.

Pioneer Cellular is a partnership group comprised of Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Inc., KanOkla Telephone Association, South Central Communications of Kansas, and Hinton Cellular Co.

___ (c)2011 The Oklahoman Visit The Oklahoman at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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