AT&T announced today that it intends to buy regional wireless carrier Alltel for $780 million. As part of the deal, AT&T will receive Alltel’s 585,000 subscribers and the carrier’s assets including its retail stores, wireless licenses and networking infrastructure.
This purchase will boost AT&T’s coverage in rural areas that are covered by Alltel, These areas include Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. AT&T will also get access to spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, which are complimentary to AT&T current GSM service. Alltel’s service, however, is CDMA-based and AT&T plans upgrade the network. The carrier says this conversion process “will not result in significant dilution to EPS or impact to cash flow.”
The transaction must be approved by both the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. Both AT&T and Alltel expect to close the deal in the second half of 2013.