The remainder of the former Alltel Wireless which wasn’t purchased by either Verizon Wireless or AT&T in 2008 and 2009 after Verizon’s landmark purchase is set to be purchased by AT&T pending approval by regulators.
AT&T has announced the purchase of the holding company that is currently using the Alltel Wireless brand name for what’s left of the native CDMA network in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. Atlantic Tele Network took over the remainder of the former Alltel Wireless footprint that couldn’t be purchased by either Verizon Wireless or AT&T in 2008 and 2009 in the aforementioned markets in April 2010 and has continued to service Alltel Wireless customers up to the present day.
The deal is expected to be approved by regulators, but the actual integration of the customer base will take longer than normal as the network footprint served by Atlantic Tele Network will need to be converted to GSM and LTE, with AT&T also having to provide a transition framework for current Alltel Wireless customers, such as providing discounted phones and devices, as well as updates on the network transition, with no immediate word on when it will begin or when it expects to complete the transition once the purchase is approved and completed.
The purchase is being seen by AT&T as complementary to its current network deployment and expansion plans, as ATNI/Alltel currently serves 585,000 customers with a coverage area covering 2.7 million square miles and is mostly rural in nature, with holdings in the 700MHz, 850MHz and 1900MHz spectrum bands.