Celltech Electronics moving into Wavelengths store as part of U.S. Cellular/T-Mobile merger

CellTech move

Celltech Electronics has moved from 4319 Broadway to the former Wavelengths location at 4835 Broadway. | David Adam

QUINCY — Quincy is losing one U.S. Cellular store in the wake of T-Mobile’s plan to buy U.S. Cellular’s wireless operations and certain spectrum assets in a deal that further consolidates the industry. 

The Associated Press reported last week that T-Mobile would get more than four million new customers and control of U.S. Cellular’s wireless operations and about 30 percent of spectrum assets across several spectrum bands as part of a deal valued at $4.4 billion. T-Mobile also will enter into a new master license agreement on more than 2,000 towers and extend the lease term for the approximately 600 towers where T-Mobile is already a tenant.

In Quincy, the Wavelengths store at 4835 Broadway is closing. Owners Mark and Julie Krogman are divesting 18 Wavelengths stores — five in Kansas, 10 in Missouri and three in Illinois — which sold U.S. Cellular products as they retire from the business after 30 years.

Krogman, however, maintains ownership of the 0.39-acre lot. He will lease it to Celltech Electronics, another U.S. Cellular provider which has moved east from its 4319 Broadway location to the larger store. Owners Katrina and David Wellman have owned Celltech since 1999, according to the store’s website. They also own another store at 1507 S. 12th.

When asked Tuersday for an interview, Katrina Wellman referred all questions to representatives with FGS Global, a public relations company based in New York. 

Kiki Torpey, a director with FGS Global, said in an email that U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile will continue to operate as separate companies that compete with one another until the transaction closes.

T-Mobile said U.S. Cellular customers will gain access to its 5G network, giving them better coverage and speed. The company said the deal will particularly benefit those that live in underserved rural areas of the country. U.S. Cellular customers can remain on their current plans or switch to an unlimited T-Mobile plan of their choice. They will not incur switching costs if a plan change is made. 

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert told the Associated Press the deal will “create a better experience for all of our customers with more coverage and more capacity.” 

It may also signal the start of more consolidation in an industry with fewer players than ever.

“The writing is on the wall for the carriers, and consolidation is now on the horizon and could speed up into 2025,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told the Associated Press. “This is the first shot across the bow in the wireless world and we expect more deals over the next year.”

T-Mobile completed the takeover of smaller rival Sprint in 2020. The Federal Communications Commission approved its merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc. in 2013. 

“The U.S. consumer has less choice but there is more competition, and this could drive prices lower,” Ives said. 

The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of United States Cellular Corp. and Telephone and Data Systems Inc, a majority shareholder of U.S. Cellular. It is expected to close in mid-2025. 

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