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Verizon buys Cincinnati Bell wireless


Cincinnati Bell has sold its wireless service to Verizon Wireless. If you’re a Cincinnati Bell customer, keep doing what you’re doing and wait for more information, spokesmen for both companies advised Monday.

The move is a sensible one for Cincinnati Bell, a relatively small regional wireless carrier up against bigger national players, said Mike Vanderwoude, Cincinnati Bell senior vice president of wireless marketing.

National carriers — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile — can offer coverage nearly anywhere. When a Cincinnati Bell customer “roams” outside the company’s service area, it must fill the coffers of larger carriers.

“That is part of the challenge of operating as a regional carrier,” Vanderwoude said. “It really just comes down to scale.”

When it comes to roaming charges, marketing and new technologies, “It’s difficult to keep up the the guys who are 100 times your size,” he said.

The story is a familiar one. Nearly all regional carriers have been “snapped up,” Vanderwoude said. Those still in existence are primarily serving urban areas.

Cincinnati Bell has about 35,000 total customers in the Dayton area.

“Nothing changes for them for now,” Vanderwoude said.

Here’s what you need to know:

Can you keep your wireless number?

According to Cincinnati Bell, yes. On a “frequently asked questions” site (www.cincinnatibell.com/cbw/#faqs) the company put up on the deal, Cincinnati Bell says, “After the transaction is finalized, you can port your number to another carrier.”

So what is changing?

For now, nothing. “It’s important to understand that nothing changes immediately,” Cincinnati Bell says in its FAQ site. “Cincinnati Bell expects to continue operating its wireless network for the next 8 to 12 months. Once the agreement is approved and closed, we will notify you and assist you with transition of your wireless service to Verizon Wireless or other carrier of your choice.”

What do you need to do now?

“There is nothing that you need to do at this time,” Cincinnati Bell said. “Once the agreement is approved and closed, we will waive all applicable termination fees, provide handset unlock codes and assist you with the transition of your wireless service to Verizon Wireless or other carrier of your choice.”

Will your wireless service be interrupted?

Not according to Cincinnati Bell.

“It is important to understand that nothing changes immediately. There will be no changes or interruptions in your wireless services until sometime during the first quarter of 2015,” the company said.

How should I make payments?

For now, the same way you always have. “There are no changes to your bill statement or your bill due date at this time. Please continue to make payments to Cincinnati Bell as you do today,” Cincinnati Bell said.


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