AT&T buying Alltel for $780 million, getting more coverage in six states
0. phoneArena 22 Jan 2013, 09:34 posted on
AT&T, the nation’s second largest carrier, has just announced that it will acquire Atlantic Tele-Network’s wireless service known under the Alltel brand…
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1. 14545 (Posts: 874; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Wait, huh? I thought alltel was owned, merged, or partnered with Verizon? Am I missing something?
5. deago78 (Posts: 150; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
As did I. I remember a number of Alltel stores being converted to verizon locations a number of years ago in my home town in Ohio.
18. corporateJP (Posts: 896; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
Verizon bought Alltel and Unicel around the same time a few years back and was ordered on completion to divest some markets by the FCC so it would not be considered a monopoly. AT&T got some of it earlier, AtlanticTel got most of the rest of Alltel, and a small few markets went independent.
AT&T seems to want all the rest of it now.
2. IamTheGodfatherofCell (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
Yeah Alltell was bought out by Verizon a few years back....not making much sense there....further explanation please
3. gameday78 (Posts: 45; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)
alltel was bought out by Verizon a few years ago. When that happened they were only able to buy something like 90% of the company and its assets... That way Verizon didnt have a monopoly in some markets. This is what is left of alltel that att is snatching up.
6. TheMan (Posts: 317; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
What I recall is then #2 Verizon announced a deal to buy then #7 Alltel. But the deal ran into some competitive issues with the regulators in some markets, so VZW was permitted to buy *most* of Alltel (I'm remembering 59%, but don't quote me). Verizon was required to sell some assets (which AT&T took advantage of last year). Eventually, Verizon's Alltel's customers that hadn't been converted already were folded into the Verizon brand 12-18 months ago.
What remained of Alltel continued to operate independently (as far as I know) until Atlantic Tele-network bought them 2-3 years ago. Now AT&T wants them.
8. ibap (Posts: 650; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
OK, but Alltel is CDMA, and AT&T is GSM. So how is this going to work? We wound up on Sprint because Verizon didn't work at our high school while our daughter was there. Alltel worked as well, but AT&T was totally dead. This is going to thrill a lot of Alltel customers (please note - sarcasm).
9. MartyK (Posts: 651; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
My question also, GSM and CDMA?...
Unless they are going to run straight LTE off these frequencies..hummm
10. 14545 (Posts: 874; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Yeah, that along with the VZW deal, none of this makes sense. To run GSM off those towers I'm sure would require a complete upgrade to them. Then the remaining alltel customers would lose their roaming deals because VZW doesn't, can't, have a roaming deal with ATT since ATT is all GSM. I really wish the article would explain more about this.
11. Charlie_boy (Posts: 43; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)
If they're going straight to LTE.. Subscribers with old (non LTE) handsets will have problems..
13. cybervlad81 (Posts: 83; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)
If I remember correctly Alltel actually had both GSM and CDMA, the majority of it's network was CDMA but they did have some GSM, in other words - Alltel was a mess. Also, the spectrum is what really matters, converting equipment is done pretty regular anyways as technology changes.
12. Zero0 (Posts: 533; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Same way MetroPCS will merge into T-Mobile, I assume. They're almost the same deal. Major GSM carrier buying a CDMA carrier with compatible spectrum.
After the deal is approved, new phones will be launched which are AT&T compatible. In existing AT&T markets, they'll add GSM spectrum to towers as time goes on. The new coverage areas will get upgraded AT&T towers, with CDMA spectrum being gradually moved over as Alltel customers upgrade phones.
15. 14545 (Posts: 874; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Maybe, one can hope anyway, these carriers buying other carriers will lead to an era of unlocked, unbranded phones. Ones that can run GSM, CDMA, LTE, Evdo, HSPDA and +, etc. That way we can buy our phone off contract and then pick the carrier we want. Doubt it though.
17. corporateJP (Posts: 896; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
Yeah...don't hold your breath on that one.
14. jiggaphone (Posts: 8; Member since: 25 Mar 2011)
so as some one else stated verizon had purchased alltel but due to monopoly rights had to sell some off to other companies and some of the other companies choose to keep the alltel name due to it being more well known. now it those other companies that att wants. all of south dakota and most and majority of north dakota were sold to att and the conversion was a pain in the ... but it happened and it will probably be smoother the second time around. so yes there are some companies around that just took the alltel name.
16. corporateJP (Posts: 896; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
AT&T dropped the ball in the Dakotas BIG TIME when they received the Verizon leftovers, I witnessed it with my own eyes.
I personally can't see anything good happening once AT&T touches it.
19. corporateJP (Posts: 896; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
To be brutally honest, I'd rather go back to "Regional Carriers".
These big companies are just into greed and we are all just becoming meaningless numbers.
21. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 287; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Then dont buy a contracted smartphone, get a pay as you go one. No ones got a gun to your head