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Chinook Wireless gets rebranded as CellularONE

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by wildrock, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. wildrock

    wildrock Junior Member
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    Well, I got my letter from Chinook Wireless today announcing they are rebranding as CellularONE. They also have joined in with E Texas and Oklahoma CellularONE. Website will launch the 24th: CellularONE is coming!

    Stopped by the local store thursday to pay a bill, and they had it gutted out and were getting ready to repaint. Nobody there wanted to say what was up. Guess the nice green and blue look will get replaced with that ugly red.

    Geez, just when they were starting to get predictable. I wonder what kind of chaos this will bring? Glad my contracts are up. :O
     
  2. PCSuser

    PCSuser Senior Member
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    Here is what I know about the situation.

    CellularOne branding is owned by Dobson Cellular Systems. And DCS just got bought out by AT&T.... so does this mean that AT&T is leasing the rights of the "Cellular One" name once again (long live Cell1!), or did they sell it...

    what exactly happened.
     
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  3. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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    Hmmm... I thought AT&T had to dump the CellularOne brand as a condition of the Dobson buyout :confused:
     
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  4. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    i would assume giving/selling/leasing it to someone is probably in agreement with the conditions.
     
  5. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    I just went to their website and saw this... quite a surprise really. I thought the announcement would be that they were bought by AT&T.

    This is going to REALLY confuse the heck out of people here.

    CellularONE is, to people here, the company that got bought by Alltel 3 years ago. It's still very much remembered, and honestly - not in a very positive light. This can only be bad for business, at least in my market.

    Makes me wonder what's up though, for sure... Obviously, they're not selling out any time soon though :(

    Chinook CellularONE is a company full of big talk (acting all affiliated with Cingular), broken promises (iPhones anyone?), and poor treatment of their employees from what I've heard...

    They managed to kill a name here... Chinook made an awful reputation for themselves already. Do they really think rebranding as a company that had a bad reputation (and only recently has Alltel started to change people's perspective somewhat) will help???

    Just how clueless is this Jonathan Foxman guy?
     
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  6. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    This is making a *little* more sense. AT&T is having to divest Dobson in a few markets in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kentucky. The Oklahoma and Texas markets they have to divest must be becoming Chinook and the way the Chinook site is talking, it sounds like they might have got the CellularONE name too...

    This is all pure speculation on my part, and one way or another I think it'll hurt them here - as bad of a name as Chinook has made for themselves already here, CellularONE is a terrible legacy in the eyes of many folks...
     
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  7. TXCell1rep

    TXCell1rep New Member

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    AT&T had to sell the Cellular One brand to another company. Chinook bought or leased the rights from that company to use. Honestly it's a good thing for us down here in TX and OK. We have been Cellular One for about ten years. There have been places I have heard go through rebranding just fine, so I hope it will work out for you up there. I am kinda glad AT&T couldn't buy us in the market I'm in, cause AT&T sucks for the little guy.
     
  8. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    You never have dealt with Chinook then, have you? They're awful. Also, seeing it sold wouldn't surprise me. The guy who owns Chinook is in the business of building rural cell carriers and selling them - he did so with Highland Cellular and SOL PCS
     
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  9. TXCellPhoneGuy

    TXCellPhoneGuy New Member

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    Ok, here are a few of the details. AT&T was forced to divest a few markets it was acquiring from the Dobson purchase, including OK RSA 5 and TX RSA 10. Dobson branded its service in these areas as Cellular One. AT&T was also required to divest itself of the Cellular One brand, which was wholely owned and managed by Dobson (who previously had acquired the Cell One brand from Western Wireless Corp when it was bought out by Alltel a few years back).

    Chinook is in the process of purchasing both OK5 and TX10. Since these markets were already branded Cellular One, they have opted to purchase the franchise rights to maintain the Cellular One name in both markets, and have further decided to rebrand their MT markets with the same name in order to maintain cohesive branding amongst their markets of operation.

    So that's it in a nutshell. I can definitely see how customers in MT will be confused, since the Cell One name has already come and gone in that area. Dobson had faced a similar situation when it purchased a license and began operating in San Angelo, TX in April of 2007. That was also a prior Western Wireless/Cellular One market that had been purchased and rebranded by Alltel.
     
  10. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info! Did Chinook buy the name or just license it?

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
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  11. TXCellPhoneGuy

    TXCellPhoneGuy New Member

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    They are only licensing the name. AT&T sold the Cellular One brand to Trilogy Equity Partners, a venture capital group out of Seattle. Interestingly, guess who is co-founder and on the board of directors of Trilogy? John Stanton, former CEO of Western Wireless and VoiceStream. You can't help but wonder what they plan to do with the brand.
     
  12. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    What I can't help but wonder is what possible value Chinook sees in the CellularONE brand here. Sure, they've built a bad reputation for themselves here with how much they screwed up their transition (REALLY REALLY badly...), however... CellularONE just makes no sense. They should've just rebranded all their properties as something totally new.

    Also, it's a curiosity in that, I really thought their goal was to sell to AT&T some day. Buying divested AT&T properties is not a step towards that goal...
     
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  13. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    The Cellular One name is the oldest consistentely used name brand out there.

    Look at ATT wireless Bought McCaw Cellular One

    SBC Wireless used the Cellular One name for years then went to Cingular. They sold the Name to Western Wireless then to Dobson then back to ATT (Cingular, SBC Mobility, Bell Mobility)

    The Cellular One concept was great back in the mid 90's it gave smaller carriers a stronger name to hide behind, but Cellular ONe Group has never mandated a technology to be used so some Cellular One Companies had CDMA and some GSM, Only Western Wireless to my knowledge got smart and starting do both.

    Alot of people get confused because of the Cellular One name is just that a name for hire not a wireless carrier.

    Cellular One - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sometimes a rebranding is good for a company, could you imagine if Sprint rebranded to Cell ONe. Alot of people subconciously associate a name with a Reputation regardless of first hand experience.
     
  14. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    My Alltel phone broke so I decided to pay my cancellation fee and switch to CellularONE... wish I'd made the choice a few days ago when I could've got a much nicer local only plan... but still. I like it alot

    Mark
     
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  15. Scott Watson

    Scott Watson New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I saved and posted the old Chinook coverage map. Their new "national" map sure looks thin without any service from Alltel's GSM. I see Billradio commented about the transaction on his Blog.

    I wonder if Chinook did any market research about switching to Cell 1?
     
  16. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    The real future coverage on CellularONE no longer lines up with that old map, so it's rather pointless - look at the new national map's gray area.
     
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  17. TXCell1rep

    TXCell1rep New Member

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    Well if Chinook's point in rebranding itself is to better there imaige then they need to come out and show people they are better than they were as Chinook. They hopefully don't think that changing the name is going to make a tremedous difference, if they are as bad as you say they are then nothing will be any better.

    The DoJ has approved the buy of the AT&T (old Dobson Cellular One) divested TX 10 and OK 5 markets to Chinook (oh I mean Cellular One, MTPCS, whoever). The FCC should be making its ruling soon.
     
  18. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.1; U; en-us) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    Having been a CellularONE subscriber for almost two weeks I must say that my overall impression is very good. Their website should advertise the same products they sell - they list an e61i on the site for only $99 but the reality is the phone they sell is the inferior e62. Customer service is amazing - no wait time and no voice menus. Ryan at the Kalispell store is an asset they should be proud of, a truly great guy to deal with. Unlike the arrogant and incompetant fools at the other guys... The coverage needs to improve some. Hungry horse is the most important currently dead patch to me... It's why I left Blackfoot years ago! Still,I would not hesitate to recommend CellularONE to my friends and family right now.
     
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  19. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant
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    I'm glad to hear your experience is a good one. It's always better to deal with local people when you can, it's unfortunate the name makes them appear to be a lot less "local". Is there any reference in paperwork or at the store to their new relationship with the other Cellular One's in OK & TX?
     
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  20. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    The thing is I have no doubt that it was wise of them to rebrand. They completely ruined the Chinook name and reputation with the change to GSM. They lost customers like flies, even one who had stayed loyal to them in a lot of other stuff because their store was in a building he owned.

    They overnight launched a completely untested (in the real world) network that was severely under built (they added many fill in sites in the months following their GSM launch, though their coverage is now much better than the CDMA - it's not like their network WASN'T under built for CDMA...).

    How hard (this is a real question because I don't honestly know) would it have been to roll customers on to the new network in rolling blocks? Or at least pick a large group of random voluntary testers to get on the new network first and test it out for bugs and sort through potential issues in advance?

    Between that and other mistakes, they needed a new name and a chance at a fresh start. The real question I have is - WHY CellularONE? CellONE had a mixed reputation. Many loved them but many hated them. Chinook isn't even a cellular band carrier... It just wasn't the right choice of a name...
     
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  21. markuhde

    markuhde Junior Member
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    Argh, Chinook (um, CellularONE) text messaging has been down all evening. Customer service was just like "yeah, the network's down, we're working on it, we don't know when it'll be fixed". sms.chinookwireless.com fails out right now even.

    Alltel GSM is completely off the air right now. Alltel and Chinook problems always seem to occur at the same time, though the symptoms are different for some odd reason, I've always noticed that (I've always kept a T-Mobile prepaid used mainly on Chinook).

    Verizon problems seem completely unrelated.

    *EDIT, not two minutes after I posted this, Alltel GSM is online, CellularONE text messaging is online, everything is good! I don't know how long Alltel GSM was down because I hadn't noticed that (done a network check) until fairly recently but CellularOne texting has been down for hours. If they were related (and given they were fixed at the exact same minute...), I assume the Alltel GSM has been down the same time.

    Here was the bounce message that texts were resulting in earlier - From +1406314XXXX [my number] 406270XXXX [the number I was texting] is invalid or does not subscribe.

    Incoming texts appear to have gotten lost in thin air.

    Here's the big question for the cell phone junkies:

    How come network problems (especially but not always exclusively on the GSM side) at Alltel and Chinook go hand in hand? And how come they're so common?
     
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