Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sharpen the Knife: Alltel Divestitures

The FCC has released the final recipe for the new Verizon Wireless/Alltel pie. The feds have added 5 markets to the 100 Verizon has already offered to give up. We have posted the current map of these markets, and the list of the additional FCC markets in an attached list on that page. The FCC report makes for some interesting reading, but here are the high points:
  • Verizon will need to give up all kinds of spectrum in these markets, not just 850 MHz cellular, but others like 700 MHz and 1900 MHz, to get under the 95 MHz cap.
  • Verizon will need to continue Alltel's existing roaming agreements for a minimum of 4 years.
  • Verizon must maintain the Alltel GSM roaming network, however, Verizon says there will be no new GSM sites, and none of them will be upgraded to 3G.
  • Verizon will have 120 days after closing to sell off the divested pieces and must sell them in as geographically-adjacent blocks as possible.

We still recommend you stay with, or jump in on, Alltel's current generous plans. Verizon may or may not keep them, but they're good if only for the short term. Residents of the divested markets, watch this space.

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