Monday, June 22, 2009

The Rest of Alltel Goes to ATN

Who? ATN is Atlantic Tele-Network who owns a few small cellular systems that includes Commnet Wireless. In a move that shouldn't have surprised us, they agreed to pay $200 Million for what appears to be the balance of the Alltel assets required to be divested by Verizon Wireless. If so, this would complete the list of Alltel properties to be sold, and it seems to preclude US Cellular who at one time was thought to have the most to benefit with the addition of the spun off Alltel properties. The ATN purchase includes over 800,000 Alltel customers who would probably love to continue to be Alltel customers. Just for fun, we added the ATN/Alltel properties to the Top 10 cellular carrier rankings just to show the relative size of the affected network.

We have been waiting for a response from ATN as to what the plans are for this part of the divested Alltel network. Will it continue to be known as Alltel, or might they apply one of their other subsidiary names which include Commnet Wireless and even a Cellular One (of Bermuda)? If the history of the cellular name game is any indication, we could see the Alltel name live on. Or how about something new and clever? And will there be consolidation of the existing markets, mostly rural, of Commnet Wireless into this new network? And should we expect CDMA to live on? ATN supports both CDMA and GSM.

We are thrilled to see a separate network survive from the Alltel divestiture. May they live long and prosper.

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