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AT&T users in rural areas may soon find a big improvement in their service, thanks to the carrier buying up what remains of the former Alltel, which was previously acquired by Verizon Wireless. Confused? Don't be.
AT&T announced Tuesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (ATNI), whose retail operations were better known as Alltel. The $780 million cash deal will net AT&T approximately 585,000 subscribers along with wireless properties.
Those properties include licenses, network assets and retail stores formerly operated by Alltel, whose network covers 4.6 million people primarily in rural areas across six states: Georgia, Idaho, Illinous, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.
The deal also includes wireless spectrum in the 700MHz, 850MHz and 1900MHz bands which complement AT&T's existing network, despite ATNI operating as CDMA for its subscribers.
"AT&T expects that as it upgrades the network, ATNI customers and existing AT&T customers who roam in these areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience," the company said in a press release.
The deal still must still go under scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but is expected to close in the second half of 2013.
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