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Local Communications Co-op Offering Wireless Service Again

By Johanna Cano, posted May 24, 2019
Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC), a member-owned communications cooperative, is once again offering wireless mobile service through a 4G LTE network, according to a news release this week.

The Shallotte-based company’s wireless service will include mobile voice and data plans, as well as wireless mobile device financing and wireless plans for businesses, large or small.

“We are excited to be able to offer wireless service again,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO, in a news release. “Our new wireless offering will benefit our customers by giving them access to nationwide 4G LTE coverage supported by award-winning, local customer service.”

ATMC previously offered wireless service until the summer of 2018 when it ended its partnership with AT&T Inc. At one point, ATMC had 20,000 wireless customers, said Amanda Floyd, director of marketing for ATMC.

Now, the company offers wireless service through a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, a reseller of wireless communication services, Floyd said.

The company decided to offer wireless again because it gives customers the ability to bundle all their services into one bill.

“Everyone utilizes their cell phones now and so many of our customers have enjoyed having all of their services with us,” Floyd said. “Previously, we were able to include their wireless service on their ATMC bill and we wanted to get back to that ability. It allows us to have more flexibility with bundling services together.”

One aspect that will motivate customers to get their wireless service from ATMC, as opposed to other bigger communication companies, is the localized customer service they would receive, she said.

“It allows the customers to come into our offices and have their customer service or their phones here in our local offices,” Floyd said. “You are able to have your customer service rep, that one person that you can rely on when you have a problem. [Customers] can come into the office and see the same person when they come back the next time.”

ATMC offers unlimited data plans as well as 3-, 6- and 12-GB plans with monthly prices ranging from $45 per line to $100 per line, depending on the number of lines and type of plan.

Mobile device financing is offered at 0% interest for a 24-month period.

The nonprofit cooperative has been providing local service since 1955 and, in 2011, it expanded to rural areas in neighboring Columbus County, according to the company website.

The co-op provides phone services, high-speed internet, cable TV, business communications and security services.

The company has offices in Shallotte, Sunset Beach and Leland and currently has over 40,000 customers, Floyd said.

“They're very excited,” Floyd said about customers learning ATMC offers wireless again. “They talk about how reliable the service has been. They've gotten great coverage, great prices and they're very excited to be able to deal with us again.”
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