AT&T will acquire Alltel, the mobile operator owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (ATNI), for $780 million in cash.
Alltel operates a CDMA network covering approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.
Once the network is upgraded to 4G, AT&T said the Alltel assets will be complementary to its own network. Alltel's spectrum is in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands.
"We are pleased that AT&T recognizes the value of our U.S. wireless retail operations and is acquiring these assets," said Michael T. Prior, Chief Executive Officer. "Alltel's customers will benefit from access to a nationwide 4G network, a larger device selection, additional retail locations and a broader range of product offerings. Additionally, many of our employees should benefit from new career opportunities within AT&T. We will work closely with AT&T to close the transaction and to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and employees."
- The current Alltel brand, which is owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, was formed in early 2010 following ATNI's acquisition of wireless properties, licenses and network assets from Verizon Wireless, which was required by the FCC to sell these coverage areas.
- In January 2009, Verizon Communications acquired the original Alltel Corporation for approximately $5.9 billion. The FCC and the Department of Justice required Verizon to divest assets in 100 areas in 22 states to win approval for the deal.
- The original Alltel traced its heritage back to the foundation of the Allied Telephone Company in Arkansas in 1943.