In Montana, there are areas where AT&T told ex-Alltel customers, "The engineers decided the towers are too outdated and it would cost too much to transition the software...you're going to have 30 days to find a new carrier." As reported in the Missoulian, there are Alltel customers who are realizing their greatest fears, there will be no service. On subsequent inquiries, AT&T claims it won't be that bad, but if any customers do indeed lose service it will be very few.
We already know a lot of Alltel users thought they were using Alltel cell sites when in reality they were actually roaming on Verizon sites. This is understandable. There are few GSM roaming partners available in the rural west. This will be a big downside for those who stay with AT&T. But for AT&T to claim they're just giving up on some cell sites is a bit extreme...but also understandable. Why spend big money to upgrade a site to 3G when there are few customers?
Like we pointed out in our Reviews for customers being transferred from Alltel to AT&T, you might lose service. We also point out that some areas of Montana are served by only one carrier. We hope those at the end of the line aren't left without wireless service. Do we smell opportunity for Cellular One? For those Alltel customers now with Verizon or the "New" Alltel, service is getting better. In this case it may be a CDMA vs. GSM thing.