AT&T is positioned to acquire Alltel’s assets and customers in their entirety in the second half of this year. It is still business as usual for the once large regional carrier, mostly bought out by Verizon Wireless.
As you may recall from that merger some years ago, Verizon had to divest several markets or work some spectrum swaps with other providers (like AT&T) in order to secure regulatory approval. The leftovers remained as the Alltel brand, operated by Atlantic Tele-Network Wireless and that is what AT&T will be taking on later in the year.
Meanwhile, Alltel continues to maintain its lineup of products and services and that includes the iPhone. In addition to the iPhone 5, Alltel will also begin selling the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The16GB iPhone 4S will run just $49.99 and the iPhone 4 will move for $0.99. The iPhone 5 starts at just $149.99 for the 16GB flavor, add an additional $100 for each iteration up the storage ladder for the other models.
Alltel operates a CDMA/EV-DO network in 6 states and hold spectrum licenses that AT&T will certainly be able to make use of. Though with the addition of the more expensive hardware, it will be interesting to see what route AT&T takes as it converts Alltel’s network to GSM/UMTS and LTE.