Alltel announced that it would switch from providing two-year service contracts to one-year contracts, beginning tomorrow. The carrier also said that its handset prices would remain the same and that it would provide two-year postpaid handset prices to those signing one-year contracts.
Verizon Wireless agreed to divest 105 markets (including some of its own markets) as a regulatory condition of its $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel, which closed in January. Thus, Alltel's new offer only applies to 91 of those 105 markets, which an Alltel spokeswoman said are run by an Alltel trust. The 91 markets serve about 2.2 million customers.
The carrier said it would continue with "business as usual" in the 91 markets until they are purchased. AT&T is buying 79 of the markets operated by the trust for $2.35 billion, though that deal is subject to regulatory approval. The 79 markets span 18 states and cover around 1.5 million subscribers. AT&T expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Verizon is currently in the process of selling the remaining Alltel assets.
- see this release
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