SRT Getting Out of Cellular Service Business


Thousands of cell phone users in north-central North Dakota will have to find a new provider.S-R-T announced it would stop providing cellular service, ending two decades in the business.

Jim Olson has more. 

(Jim Olson, KX News) Back when SRT began offering wireless phone service – this was the top of the line

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “Bag phone in your vehicle plugged into your lighter.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) Which was fine if you just wanted to chat while on the go. But these days…

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “You now use it for internet more than you do for calling someone.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) And the technology to make all that world wide web browsing happen is expensive.

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “In order for us to even continue and try to build out a network, it would have cost us 10 to 15 million dollars.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) That’s why SRT is cutting its wireless phone service.

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “We’re focusing on our fiber buildout, our Gig service for all of our customers in our rural and getting through to Minot. So that’s our number one priority right now.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) This letter was mailed today to the five thousand or so customers who have SRT cell phone service – it encourages them to switch to Verizon Wireless.

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “Out customers are going to get a letter and it’s going to encourage them to go to Verizon. Verizon is going to offer them an exclusive 90-day period where they’re going to get exclusive discounts. They’ll be able to help them transition their phones.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) “Behind me is one of 75 SRT cell service locations throughout the region and Hjelmstad says Verizon has plans to use some of them in the future.”

(Cassidy Hjelmstad, SRT Communications Director) “They’re going to expand their coverage in our teritorry, which is huge for our customers.”

(John MacMartin, SRT Customer) “Things like I’m doing right now would become much faster.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) SRT customer John MacMartin says he appreciates what SRT has done over the years.

(John MacMartin, SRT Customer) “This is in the best interests of SRT customers. Although they lose the cellular service and it will go to Verizon, it’s still in their best interest.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) For SRT, there’s no longer the need to spend millions on keeping up with major cell phone providers because who’s to say when the current phones are as antiquated as this old wireless phone.

In Minot, Jim Olson, KX News.

SRT wants to remind people that although they are leaving the cell phone business, they will remain open in all other service options. 

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