Full-Service Telecommunications Company in Columbia, SC
About the Owner
Lucious Frierson has been in the industry nearly all of his adult life before starting his own telecommunications company in Columbia, SC. The 1983 graduate of WJ Keenan High School attended the University of South Carolina for two years before joining the US Army.
"I went into the military in the field of communications," recalled Frierson. "That was in 1985."
Frierson left the Army for the private sector in 1988. Wanting to stay in the communications field, he got a sales job with Cingular Wireless. He eventually got a second job with Bell Atlantic as an installer.
"It was crazy," Frierson recalled. "When I came out of the Army, cell phones had just hit. We were installing phones in cars for $400–500."
At the time, pagers were also popular. So in 1998, Frierson opened a store called Midlands Page & Satellite on Beltline Boulevard.
"Pagers were prevalent back then, and phones were still high," said Frierson. "We started with 300 to 400 pager customers."
By 2003, cell phone prices had dropped enough to become a mass-market item, and Frierson's cell phone business took off. In addition to pagers, he sold Cingular phones on one side of the building, DirecTV satellite dishes in the middle, and did computer repair on the other side. Frierson changed his company's name from Midlands Page & Satellite to MidlandPCS, short for Midlands Personal Communications Systems.
Frierson said that he was successful because his store filled a real need in the community.
"I was inspired to open this store by the community," Frierson recalled. "When I first opened up, there were no communication stores in either direction. Also, many people in this area didn't have good credit, so I saw an opportunity to help them out with a product they didn't think they could get. They would go to other stores and be told that they had to have a $300 deposit."
Frierson sells a number of plans on virtually any carrier's network. MidlandPCS also sells a variety of pre-paid plans.
"About ten years ago, 90 percent of Europe's phones were pre-paid," Frierson said. "So in Europe, you didn't have to compromise your credit to get a cell phone. It was only in America that only seven to eight percent of cell phones were pre-paid. People believed that pre-paid services were substandard."
"But now, pre-paid is the norm. People realized that they could pre-pay and get the exact same service and network without having to compromise their credit."
MidlandPCS helps clients get the phones they need, regardless of their credit, as well as offering high-quality cell phone services, prepaid internet, and computer repair services.
"Even today, people don't understand how you can have the same plan with the same company but pay much less through an MVNO - Mobile Virtual Network Operator," said Frierson. "For instance, PagePlus is an MVNO of Verizon. Simple Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile. Net Ten is an MVNO of AT&T. They have a contract with those carriers to resell their services for a flat fee.
"That was my motivation—to make sure that this community knew that they could get a cell phone, too. If you had bad credit, you just had to pay for your phone and your plan."
Frierson said a major part of his job is to educate clients about their options.
"We are just trying to educate people," said Frierson. "Even today, I witnessed someone come in with a $700 Verizon bill with four lines. I took all four of those phones under the same network through PagePlus and got them a $40 a month plan. So now, instead of their bill being $700 a month, they pay $160 a month for unlimited data. There is much satisfaction I get out of helping people."
MidlandPCS also offers the Lifeline Government Assistance Phone for people on government assistance. Qualified individuals get the phone for free, with 500 free minutes a month.
Thank you for your interest in our telecommunications company in Columbia, SC. If you have questions and clarifications, do not hesitate to contact us!