November 19, 2010
This weekend, thousands of Alltel customers in four states will have more bars in more places.
Thats because AT&T is converting Alltel subscribers in Alabama, California, Nevada and Virginia to its GSM network; the move was prompted by AT&Ts $2.35 billion purchase of rural Alltel assets earlier this year. Alltels network is built on the CDMA protocol.
Postpaid Alltel users were able to receive a new AT&T handset comparable to the ones they already had at no extra cost, and most rate plans stayed intact, too. Interestingly, while AT&T plans to switch Alltel users to its network on Sunday, many people wont actually receive their new phones until Nov. 26. Wonder whats up with that?
Itll be interesting to watch for feedback on the changes. Lots of consumers opted for the smaller Alltel which was swallowed up by Verizon Communications in 2008 to avoid the larger carriers. And the $28.1 billion Alltel acquisition made Verizon the largest wireless operator in the United States, with more than 90 million customers.
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