Powertel (United States)

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Powertel Inc.
Traded as NASDAQ: PTEL
Industry Wireless Telecommunications
Fate Acquired by Deutsche Telekom AG
Predecessor Powertel PCS Partners L.P.
Successor VoiceStream Wireless Inc.
Founded May 1989 (1989-05) as Interstate Cellular, Inc.
Defunct May 31, 2001 (2001-05-31)
Headquarters West Point, Georgia, U.S.
Area served
Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida Panhandle and neighboring areas
Products Ericsson T28 World phone
Motorola T2282 Talkabout
Services Personal Power Plans
The 50-State Rates
Powertel Data
Revenue $464.2 million (2000)
$6.5 million (2000)
Number of employees
2,600 (2000)
Website powertel.com
Footnotes / references

Powertel Inc. was a mobile network operator headquartered in West Point, Georgia, United States that provided analog cellular and digital PCS mobile communications services in the Southeastern United States. Powertel traces its roots to the May, 1989 incorporation in Georgia of Interstate Cellular, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holding Company, Inc. Interstate Cellular was formed to acquire cellular telephone licenses and construct and operate cellular telephone systems.


InterCel, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in April, 1991 and became the owner of the assets of both Interstate Cellular, Inc. and WHI Partnership. In October, 1991, InterCel, Inc. became a publicly traded company, offering stock on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ICEL.

InterCel acquired Unicell, a provider of cellular communications service in Maine, in January, 1993. The combined company had 20,000 subscribers in a market area that covers a population of 780,000 people.

In February 1994, InterCel and other investors formed Powertel PCS Partners L.P. to develop, construct and operate a GSM mobile cellular network that would provide services in nine Southeastern states. In March 1995, Powertel PCS Partners submitted winning bids for wireless spectrum covering parts of nine Southeastern states. InterCel acquired all outstanding interests in Powertel PCS Partners, making Powertel PCS a wholly owned subsidiary, and Powertel began to build a digital GSM network to operate on the recently acquired spectrum.

In December, 1996, InterCel agreed to sell Unicel to Rural Cellular Corporation.

In June, 1997, InterCel, Inc. changed its name to Powertel, Inc. and changed its NASDAQ stock ticker symbol to PTEL.[3]

On May 3, 1999, InterCel sold its analog cellular operations to Public Service Cellular, Inc. for US$89 million.

Powertel, Inc. was acquired by Deutsche Telekom AG on May 31, 2001, and was made a subsidiary of VoiceStream Wireless, Inc., which was acquired by Deutsche Telekom on the same day.[4][5]


  1. ^ "powertel.com > About Us > Company Info > Company Chronology". 17 April 2001. Archived from the original on 17 April 2001. 
  2. ^ "powertel.com > Learn > Rate Plans > Calculator". 31 March 2001. Archived from the original on 31 March 2001. 
  3. ^ "InterCel, Inc. To Change Corporate Name To Powertel, Inc. on July 1 New Nasdaq Symbol - PTEL. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. 
  4. ^ "powertel.com > About Us > Company Info > Company Chronology". 17 April 2001. Archived from the original on 17 April 2001. 
  5. ^ "Powertel - Powertel - Investor Relations". 29 February 2000. Archived from the original on 29 February 2000.