RIDGELAND, Miss., Feb. 14, 2018 – C Spire is celebrating a big anniversary this month – 30 years of inspired service as one of the nation's leading telecommunications and technology services providers and its evolution into one of the leading broadband companies in the U.S.
The Ridgeland-based firm, which changed its brand name from Cellular South to C Spire in 2011, was launched 30 years ago on Feb. 4, 1988 in Gulfport on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with completion of the first call on its wireless network between former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and then U.S. Rep. Trent Lott.
“While we opened our doors 30 years ago as a pure-play wireless provider, our dedication to putting the customer first and discovering new ways to improve their lives with technology has never wavered,” said C Spire CEO Hu Meena. “In fact, it's our passionate obsession, which is why we've continued to use innovation and technology to benefit our customers.”
C Spire can trace the roots of its success back to more than a half century ago with the purchase of a small telephone company in Calhoun County as well as the founding of two rural telephone companies – Franklin Telephone Co. in Meadville, Miss. and Delta Telephone Co. in Louise, Miss. The two companies allowed C Spire's predecessor, Cellular South, to participate in federal lotteries for cellular licenses in the 1980s.
“The foundation those companies provided was crucial to establishing a business presence and a working knowledge of telecommunications that helped C Spire as we built and began operating a cellular network and later as we have expanded into broadband and cloud services,” Meena said.
From the early days with only nine employees, the family and employee-owned company has steadily grown into a diversified broadband, cloud and wireless communications firm with over 8,000 route miles of fiber, the fastest Internet access speeds, the nation's best streaming pay TV service and nearly 1 million wireless subscribers.
Today, C Spire employs over 1,500 and generates over $1 billion annually in incremental positive economic impact on local and state economies through payroll, capital investments and corporate philanthropy and continues to invest in leading-edge 4G LTE and emerging 5G wireless and fiber-based ultra-fast internet access technologies and services.
“We've always put the customer at the center of everything we do and that's one of the reasons we've had sustained success in some of the most competitive industries in the world,” Meena said, noting that C Spire has helped drive industry innovation, competition and changes benefiting fixed and wireless consumers and businesses.
From fostering smartphone adoption at twice the national rate to launching in 2013 one of the nation's first Gigabit-speed Fiber-to-the Home initiatives, C Spire has been a leader in helping spur consumer adoption of the latest technology. In 2014, the company opened a new $23 million state-of-the-art commercial data center in Starkville to service businesses.
The FTTH program, the fastest to connect thousands of consumers to Gigabit speed internet, digital streaming TV and home phone services, was an unqualified success. The data center served as a springboard for the company's aggressive expansion into complex voice, data, dedicated internet and cloud services for businesses of all sizes.
“By making the strategic decision to focus on broadband and cloud services in addition to consumer wireless, we positioned ourselves for sustained growth and success well into the future,” Meena said. “Broadband and cloud services are critical to our efforts, along with wireless, to move this region forward by growing the economy, fostering innovation, creating job opportunities and improving the quality of life for everyone.”
Meena said C Spire reinforced its commitment in those areas last fall by launching the C Spire Tech Movement initiative designed to leverage the company's technology leadership and investments to help transform its service areas. A key element is the massive expansion of ultra-fast broadband and fixed wireless internet access with the goal of reaching more than 250,000 consumers and businesses. Other elements include leading the development of a high-tech workforce in Mississippi through education initiatives and related efforts, expanding tech innovation and education in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence and IOT and development of a state-of-the-art digital customer care platform for customers and team members.
The future remains bright for C Spire and its customers as it continues its evolution into a more diversified wireless communications and technology services company, including the rollout of new technologies like 5G and fixed wireless. “When people look at our company down the road, I want them to understand that we are truly customer inspired innovators with a passionate drive to harness the power and potential of technology to enhance the quality of people's lives.”
For more information on C Spire's products and services, go to www.cspire.com.
About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region. The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.
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SOURCE C Spire