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MobileTel customers running out of time to switch

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / August 26, 1998

RESERVE – MobileTel cellular service customers in the River Parishes need to make their move soon to a new provider or have their service end Monday.

At midnight on Aug. 31 those customers who have not changed theircellular service from MobileTel with be left with no cellular service.

After a long battle with the Federal Communications Commission, MobileTel was refused the right to continue serving its customers in the River Parishes, along with Plaquemines Parish, which it had done since 1990.

That license instead went to a partnership between Columbia Cellular (a subsidiary of Reserve Telephone Co.) and BellSouth Mobility. Also in competition for the MobileTel business in the River Parishes is Radiofone.

“We’re continuing to honor all MobileTel contracts,” Radiofone’s Metro New Orleans General Manager Drew Maliskas said.

“We’ve added staff people at our Kenner and LaPlace offices and are trying to make it as easy as possible. Since day one, we’ve been very successfulin working with these customers.”Reserve Telephone President Jay Reso said, “We welcome all old MobileTel subscribers and anyone wishing to enter the wireless world of communications.” Reso noted: “We’ve seen quite a few MobileTel customers convert their service, and we don’t want to see anyone caught off guard. We’d hate tosee anyone without service, and we’re ready to assist those customers in converting their account.”Back on March 7, at 12:01 a.m., MobileTel customers began seeing thattheir cellular phones were on “ROAM” mode due to the fact that BellSouth/Reserve were activating their system.

That initiated a six-month transition period which will end Monday for MobileTel customers.

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