TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: RIP, Sussex Cellular

RIP, Sussex Cellular

Stanley Cline (
Sun, 28 Aug 2005 05:34:56 -0400

One of the most backward, most reviled, most laughed-at cell phone
companies in the US -- and one mentioned many times here in the Digest
over the years -- closed its doors earlier this month. Sussex
Cellular (which operated as SciTel Wireless in its last days), the
carrier serving Sussex County, NJ that was infamous for its arrogance,
roaming agreement "hardball", and poor service and being one of the
last analog-only carriers in the continental US, requested that the
FCC cancel its license as of August 4.

Since that time their web site has disappeared from the net and the
trunks between their MTSO and the rest of the world have been either
busied out or disconnected. Based on some digging in the FCC ULS
databases, it appears that Sussex is the ONLY cellular (as opposed to
PCS or ESMR) licensee to ever have built out a network and simply shut
down without selling its licenses, network, and customers to another
carrier; given their historical arrogance, that doesn't surprise me
one bit.

It doesn't look like anyone has stepped up to take over the vacated
license yet, but my guess is that Cingular will do so in order to
improve service in Sussex County, where Cingular currently has only
1900 MHz (PCS) coverage and where 850 MHz coverage would be helpful
because of the terrain. Other carriers who might be interested in the
area include Dobson Communications, who serves areas of New York just
to the north of Sussex County, and Commnet Wireless, the roamer-only
carrier that serves scattered tertiary and rural markets stretching
from California (Lake Isabella/Kernville and Boron) all the way to
Tennessee (Mountain City).

Stanley Cline // Telco Boi // sc1 at roamer1 dot org //

"it seems like all you ever buy is Abercrombie and cell phones" --a friend

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