AT&T speeds up Alltel market switches

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AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) said it will accelerate the pace of its transitions for former Alltel markets that it acquired from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). 

In a flurry of releases, the nation's No. 2 carrier said former Alltel subscribers in Alabama,  Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming will be transitioned to AT&T by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011 instead of mid-2011, as previously scheduled. Former Alltel customers will receive an offer for a new AT&T handset at no additional cost, and customers will be able to choose a device that is comparable to what they have now. Additionally, AT&T said, the vast majority of customers will be able to keep their existing rate plans, and none will be required to assume an additional contract term.

The FCC approved AT&T's $2.35 billion purchase of the assets in June, and said the voluntary conditions proposed by AT&T for the deal are "likely to result in transaction-specific public interest benefits." Most of the conditions involve deals with smaller operators and roaming agreements.

As part of the deal, AT&T netted 1.6 million new subscribers in 79 service areas spread across 18 states. Most of the assets were from the former Alltel properties Verizon was required to divest due to its blockbuster $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel that closed in January 2009. Also as part of the transaction, Verizon scored around 120,000 subscribers in five service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi that AT&T was required to divest as a condition of its $944 million acquisition of Centennial Communications, announced in late 2008.

For more:
- see this RCR Wireless News article
- see this AT&T release
- see this Bozeman Daily Chronicle article

Related Articles:
FCC signs off on AT&T's purchase of Verizon assets
Report: AT&T's acquisition of Alltel assets nearing approval
AT&T completing asset swap with Verizon in Q1
AT&T completes acquisition of Centennial
AT&T buying some of Verizon's Alltel assets for $2.35B
Verizon requests more time to sell Alltel assets

Article updated Sept. 3 to add Virginia to the list of states in which AT&T is accelerating the Alltel transitions.