Born in Ketchikan, Tel White has followed his dream from the Mat-Su Valley to Oregon, Mexico and finally Soldotna, where he has opened a state of the art electronics store next to Mykel's on the Spur Highway. "After graduating from high school in Oregon, I followed what is probably every 18-year-old's fantasy, and went to Mexico to pursue a career in scuba diving. But that didn't pan out quick like I had imagined, so I rejoined my parents who had moved back to Alaska, and started working at Radio Shack stores where I got my start in the electronics business," White told the Dispatch. For several years, Tel had dreamed of going into business for himself. His market research led him to the Kenai Peninsula. "To tell you the truth, it was the people here. We'd lived in different places from Juneau to the Mat-Su, but the people in this community are truly the best and that's why I wanted to open my first store right here," he said.
Tel's new store, known as Alaska Cellular & Satellite, is the local authorized dealer for Direct TV as well as an authorized ACS dealership. It is also a son-father partnership. "It's a great opportunity for us to work together, and we don't really look at whose working for who. Our working relationship is a partnership and we both love what we do. This is our niche, and I'm glad that we found it together and have the opportunity to do what we love together, but it is a son and father partnership," said Tel. The White team has put together a very contemporary store with all the latest wireless gadgetry. "Above all, we are professionals and are here to provide the best service possible in a comfortable atmosphere. We have all kinds of the latest cell phones and actually do both Direct TV and Dish Network, although right now Direct TV seems to be the best option for most customers in Alaska. In the lower 48 it's six to one and a half dozen to the other, but here in Alaska, there is a big difference between Dish Network and Direct TV. With Direct TV we can get all he channels they get in the lower 48 with one satellite dish and that includes all the high definition. With Dish Network, to get all their channels in Alaska, you'll need multiple satellite dishes to get all those channels and of course then you have a more expensive installation plus additional equipment for the HD. With Direct TV, we can give it to you all for a very reasonable price with free installation and no equipment to buy for new customers. So it's a great deal for those who haven't heard of Direct TV before. A few years ago people had to pay at least a $500 installation cost, but the technology is moving so fast and prices have become very affordable. So that a person who may have checked out Direct TV a couple of years ago and balked at the $500 installation fee plus equipment costs, is rather shocked today to learn that all that now comes free with packages that start as low as $29.99 a month," explained White.
Tel and his dad are also very happy that all of their cellular phone models in the store are live and active. "We have a huge selection and wide variety of cell phones with fully working demos for every model of phone in the store, as well as doing ACS mobile internet key. We would just love to have you drop by the store during the Holidays. We'll be glad to show you how all the phones work and find the right fit for you," added White. Alaska Cellular & Satellite is open Monday - Friday 10:00am -6:00pm and on Saturday from 11:00am - 4:00pm for more information call Tel or Jim White at 262-3474.
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