Well, this was slightly unexpected. AT&T has announced that they will completely acquire the Alltel brand, to include all of their 585,000 customers and spectrum. The deal set AT&T back a hard $780 million, a price tag which AT&T plans to make up for with its new found 700, 850, and 1900 MHz bands of spectrum. AT&T will also get all of Alltel’s network licenses and wireless properties.
Alltel is currently a mostly rural area provider, service in mainly Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina. This leads us to believe that AT&T is planning on gobbling up this market and spectrum for their continuing LTE rollout.
Presser after the break.
AT&T to Acquire Wireless Spectrum and Assets from Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., Enhance Wireless Coverage in Rural Areas
Dallas, Texas, January 22, 2013
AT&T* today announced that it has signed an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (ATNI) to acquire the company’s U.S. retail wireless operations, operated under the Alltel brand, for $780 million in cash. Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.
ATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S., and its network covers approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The acquisition includes spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands and is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing network. ATNI currently operates a retail CDMA network for its subscribers in these areas. AT&T expects that as it upgrades the network, ATNI customers and existing AT&T customers who roam in these areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience.
AT&T expects integration costs for network conversion from CDMA will not result in significant dilution to EPS or impact to cash flow. The transaction is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and to other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2013.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
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