Verizon gets hungry for Alltel

Thanks to Ann Higgins for sending me the Wall Street Journal article on the Verizon’s big proposed purchase of Alltel.

So here’s my super quick take on the deal. Verizon is the number 2 wireless carrier (after AT&T). Alltel is number 5. If Verizon buys Alltel, they will be number 1 with more than 80 million subscribers.

The FCC is (or should be) concerned about the proposal because currently there are a lot of places where Verizon and Alltel are the only providers. Taking away that competition could hurt customers. Or perhaps their combined efforts would help roll out better services more quickly.

Customers are concerned because of the difference packages and coverage. On the whole Verizon customers pay less but Alltel has some friends and family packages that their customers like. But then Verizon has some nice Internet bundles that their customers like.

Wall Street seemed to like the idea as their stock went up after the announcement.

Those in the know seem to feel that FCC will let the purchase happen but will require Verizon to sell off spectrum licenses where their coverage overlaps – opening the door to a new competitor in those areas.

And what’s the Minnesota perspective – well Alltel bought Midwest Wireless a year ago – or so. (Here’s an old story on the purchase of Midwest Wireless– the newer stories were all dead links.) Rural Cellular was purchased about a year ago from Verizon. So it will be interesting to see how Verizon treats rural Minnesota.

This entry was posted in MN, Rural, Vendors, Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

1 thought on “Verizon gets hungry for Alltel

  1. Thanks to Ann Higgins for sending a follow up on the Verizon/Alltel relationship:

    Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon. I am a Vodafone user in Ireland. Cell phones (aka mobiles here) are a different animal. People text a ton more – everyone, and I mean everyone, has a cell phone. I think part of the reason is that they pay-as-they-go and don’t have to sign big contracts. The price of a call seems much higher here.

    I just wonder if the Vodafone connection will change the service and use of cell phone back home.

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