Thursday, August 7, 2008

Verizon Purchases Unicel

Verizon has officially taken over Unicel. The news isn't about what Verizon Wireless acquired, it's what they haven't acquired. As reported here previously, several Unicel areas were too hot for Verizon to handle, so they will spin off certain markets include the entire state of Vermont. The Verizon Press Release outlines which markets are affected, but gives no hint of what will happen to these "orphan" markets.

It was thought that AT&T might pick up most of these markets but that hasn't happened, and Verizon has every right to keep it out of their hands. Could these be the next markets for the 'new' Cellular One?

For those Unicel customers not being acquired by Verizon, it's business as usual, which is not a bad thing. Just hope your phone doesn't break. The good news is that Verizon will maintain all the current Unicel GSM roaming, so your Unicel phone should work everywhere it has worked before. For now, the political powers-that-be in Vermont are happy...but we see a cloud over their heads.

3 comments:

Benjamin A said...

If the FCC does not make Verizon get rid of the B Channel which is owned by Alltel in SE Alabama they will have both the A and B channel from 40 Miles south of Birmingham through Montgomery and all the way to the Florida line. The A channel in this area prior to the RCC merger was split between Unicel and Verizon now VZW has the A channel through the entire area.

Steven said...

http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=26426

[i]AT&T Mobility Fulfills Regulatory Requirements from Acquisition of Dobson Communications Corporation

Dallas, Texas, December 22, 2008
newsrelease

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets has finalized its swap of wireless assets with Verizon Wireless, following regulatory approval from the FCC and Department of Justice.

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T Mobility acquired some former Rural Cellular Corporation properties previously acquired by Verizon Wireless, including licenses, network assets and subscribers, in the Burlington, Vt. metropolitan service area and in rural service areas (RSAs) in New York (RSA-2), Vermont (RSA-1, RSA-2) and Washington (RSA-2, RSA-3). AT&T also acquired a cellular license from Verizon Wireless in portions of Kentucky RSA-6.

Also under terms of the agreement, Verizon Wireless acquired from AT&T Mobility some former Dobson Communications Corporation properties, including licenses, network assets and subscribers, in Kentucky RSA-6 and RSA-8. Verizon Wireless also acquired 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in a number of areas and received an additional cash consideration from AT&T Mobility. These transactions satisfy the divestiture requirements related to AT&T Mobility's acquisition of Dobson last year.

The asset swap with Verizon Wireless extends AT&T Mobility's coverage and services in New York, Vermont, Washington State and Kentucky. Consumers in those areas now have access to the wireless network with the best global coverage and to the nation's premier lineup of innovative wireless and wireline products and services, including iPhone 3G. Customers who choose select smartphones — such as the BlackBerry® Bold™, another AT&T Mobility exclusive — and AT&T LaptopConnect cards also enjoy free access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network.[/i]

AT&T has acquired certain portions of the RCC Unicel network and related assets from Verizon. Local press reports in Vermont report that AT&T will be converting the acquired stores from mid Jan to the end of Feb and that 3G is expected by the end 2009.

Bill Radio said...

Steven,
Much appreciated info. We have posted an Update on the AT&T-Verizon swaps which includes links to the update market maps of the exchanged markets.