HSPA+ and LTE network required to be deployed in new spectrum areas; Alltel customers get new handsets without a contract

After temporarily putting the process on hold to make sure AT&T had plans to transition customers over after the acquisition, the FCC has approved AT&T's buyout of the rest of Alltel. The total movement of assets to AT&T includes spectrum licenses for 700, 850 and 1900MHz, along with other networking assets throughout the midwestern US and over 600,000 customers.

The FCC's approval comes with some conditions, however, related to customer transition, roaming and networks across the areas where Alltel previously operated. AT&T agreed as part of this deal to deploy HSPA+ service within 15 months and LTE service within 18 months in the markets where it acquired this new spectrum. Interestingly on the network side AT&T also agreed to operate CDMA voice and data roaming service on the Alltel network until at least June of 2015.

In terms of customer transition — the point of contention initially — AT&T has agreed to offer Alltel customers a new handset for use on its network that is comparable to what they already owned, without extending a service contract. We can expect to see many of these changes right away, as AT&T likely wants to get those customers moved over to its network as soon as possible.

Source: FCC; Via: PhoneScoop


Reader comments

AT&T purchase of Alltel approved by the FCC


Wow you won the lottery today as long as they grandfather your plan

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Only part of them. Rural areas, such as parts of georgia, north carolina, etc. were still in business

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What impact will this have on the market in which AT&T has LTE? Will it cause it to grow significantly? Make it more of a player against Verizon for depth of LTE coverage?

The way I read it, it will Add some LTE areas, but largely in areas where AT&T doesn't compete (previously), BUT those areas are legally mandated priority areas, so it could slow down LTE in other areas.

Well Alltel hasn't made a profit in over 5 years, and its net profit this year is -22.8%. Its bleeding cash, and customers, so it was either going to collapse or get bought.

Why not? If a company is bleeding cash, then they should consider selling in order to save themselves somehow

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The only good thing I see here is if alltel customers can keep their current plans and still be able to use att network. If not then they didn't win anything. Just bigger network and crazy high prices. I was actually going to switch to att today and for 1 line with unlimited talk and text with 2gb of data it would cost around $95/month before taxes. They must be crazy. At least with Sprint even with slow data my coverage is great.

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It's actually 85 dollars a month. So it's only a 5 dollar difference with sprint. The extra 5 bucks is worth the extra speed and coverage.

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How many minutes do you talk on your phone where you need unlimited? 1400 minutes is more than enough for the vast majority of people, except those who literally spend all their time talking on the phone, rather than talking to people in person and doing other things.

Our family uses over 2000 mins easy per month. I don't bother checking anymore. Not everyone is constantly streaming blueray quality movies to their phones that need unlimited data but thats a different subject, but people scream about it. Some of us have other needs, family of four, children, wife's doctors, call all over in and out.

But what a previous poster said is true, who cares about $5 per month when you have data that actually works, as well as good voice connection. Unlimited data at less then 1/10th the speed of att, tmo or vzw just makes it not worth it.

So what's the penalty for AT&T if they don't make the required deployments in time? A slap on the wrist, or something more material?

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