News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday January 22, 2013.
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AT&T has announced that it has agreed to acquire Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. and all of its assets for $780 million. The deal will give control of Atlantic - which operates the Alltel, Commnet, and Sovernet brands in the U.S. - and its wireless spectrum to AT&T pending approval from the FCC.
AT&T says that it will take control over all licenses, properties, and assets to improve its wireless coverage in rural areas. ATNI has 585,000 subscribers but covers mostly rural areas in six states. AT&T says it will use ATNI's licenses on the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands to improve its coverage and does not expect conversion of ATNI's CDMA network to affect its cash flow.
Details regarding converting ATNI customers to AT&T's service have yet to be shared. The two companies have complementary spectrum but existing customer phones would not be able to connect to AT&T's network because of incompatible technology. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year, so AT&T will announce its plans for transitioning ATNI's customers later this year.source: AT&T
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.