As we predicted over as year ago, Sprint customers will be among those who will lose coverage as a result of losing Alltel as a roaming partner. Sprint has announced that effective March 1, their customers will lose "native" coverage across North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. That coverage will be still available as "Roaming" coverage, which may or may not be included in your plan, and some of the your features will no longer work.
The Alltel-Sprint relationship was a good one which gave each network's customers good access to more features on the other's network than with other networks. It appears the relationship with Sprint's 'new' roaming partner (mostly Verizon Wireless) won't be so cozy. Also, with the transition of parts of the Alltel network from CDMA to AT&T's GSM may be even more of a problem. While Verizon has coverage in most of the old Alltel areas, it's, well, different. Murphy's Law says it will be different right where you want it.
Fortunately, this is a change that will affect a very small number of Sprint users. Even more far-reaching may be the relationship between Sprint and Verizon as those old Alltel roaming agreements expire. Part of Sprint's 'restructuring' now needs to include a few (alright a bunch) more cell sites across the US north. Maybe Commnet Wireless and their stable-mates the 'new' Alltel might come to the rescue in these areas. Yay, what's old is new again.