Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Verizon Wireless Buys SureWest Wireless

Even with the 700 MHz auction on the horizon, Verizon Wireless grabs the PCS spectrum, equipment and customers of Surewest Wireless in Sacramento, CA. In their press release, SureWest tries to assure their customers they won't notice many changes in their service, but historically Verizon converts all customers to their own network and plans. That may mean no more unlimited offerings for wireless customers in Sacramento.

If this purchase follows the same pattern as the Qwest Wireless purchase, Verizon will use the SureWest sites for additional coverage and the PCS spectrum for broadband services. The upside is that Sacramento customers will get more features on Verizon phones. Surewest's wireline and video services will remain intact.

Since SureWest serves such a small area, we don't want to say this is a bad transaction in the larger world of wireless, but for cellular users in Sacramento this could be a step backwards. We could hope MetroPCS may be interested in bringing their unlimited service to town now that Sacto users have whetted their appetite for all-you-can-eat wireless.

As usual, we have preserved the SureWest Wireless coverage map on our map page.


Anonymous said...

MetroPCS has been in the Sacramento area for at least 4 years. From Sacramento they cover North to Redding, South to Merced, and West into the San Francisco Bay area. Although it is always a shame to loose a provider Sacramento is no where close to being without an unlimited Service Provider.

Oz Andrews said...

Hey wait! Sacramento has TWO "unlimited" providers? What a luxury! There are lots of markets with none. But that may explain why one of them is giving up. SureWest only gained 50,000 customers.

It's odd that we missed that Metro is already in Sacto, we included them among our ratings when we reported by individual market. It's still bad news to lose a cellular provider, especially "local" folks.

Anonymous said...

What is even stranger is that Modesto has both Cricket and MetroPCS. Which gives them quite a choice on where they are covered. Go to Fresno a lot then choose Cricket. Go to Stockton, Sacramento or the Bay Area then Choose MetroPCS. If Metro and Cricket merge as talks show they may do in the next couple of years then California from North to South will become an unlimited users utopia.