Verizon to buy Alltel, Become America’s New Largest Network

Verizon Wireless is poised to acquire Alltel, and its 13 million subscribers, for $28.1 billion, in a merger that’s set wrap up by the end of the year. Alltel customers will be able to use Verizon’s network, including all of its over-the-air content and available devices, and vice versa. That also means that the “IN Networks” for calling customers on the same service are combined too, so calls to your girlfriend on Alltel should technically be free under those rules. Verizon Wireless likely had its eyes on Alltel to gain access to its 57 mostly rural markets that Verizon Wireless had not yet tapped into. In other news, if my math skills serve me correctly, the merger also means that Verizon Wireless now has a larger customer base than AT&T. As of AT&T’s April Q1 earnings report, the company stated it had 71 million subscribers. Verizon Wireless has 67.2 million subscribers, and combined with Alltel’s 13 million, that’s a total of 80.2 million subscribers. The merger also means that Alltel subscribers will piggyback on Verizon Wireless’ 4G plans for its LTE rollout over the next few years.

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