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AT&T Buys More Alltel Operations For $780 Million 28

adeelarshad82 writes "AT&T has purchased the U.S. retail wireless operations of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (ATNI) for $780 Million. Alltel operates under the Alltel brand in several markets. The acquisition includes wireless properties, licenses, network assets, retail stores, and about 585,000 subscribers. It also includes spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands, and that's likely the big draw as the carrier continues to build out its 4G LTE network. If the deal is approved by the FCC and Justice Department, AT&T expects it to close in the second half of 2013."
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AT&T Buys More Alltel Operations For $780 Million

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:41PM (#42673221)
    But not for very much longer.

    I am in a city which already has an Alltel corporate store and an AT&T premier agent. My store is small and I have been struggling ever since the Verizon/Alltel merger went through back in 2009. For a few months I also had a store (which I had invested a lot of money in) in an area destined to become a Verizon market. Foolishly, I was hoping that the 2nd store would be allowed to convert to selling Verizon. Instead, Verizon told me that they did not need distribution in that particular town, and, while I did not have to close, I would not be selling Alltel or Verizon there after a few months. Exactly 6 months after I had moved out, Verizon opened a store there with another independent dealer, in the same town.

    Now this. Not to say I was not expecting it. Alltel has been bleeding customers over the last 3 years, and they have been squeezing out their dealers by reducing their commissions, adding chargebacks to things that did not use to have chargebacks (such as upgrades) and lowballing phones at their corporate stores such that their agents cannot compete on price. (This, on top of saddling them with a massive broken point-of-sale system which was always crashing and becoming unavailable for hours at a time.) I have even been losing my most loyal customers to these tactics. And I can't blame the customers, when they can get phones at the corporate store for $1 when I have to charge $150 or more just to break even, and the chargebacks just make it worse. And, a few years ago, Alltel sent out a helpful memo to their agents, suggesting that we encourage our prepaid minutes customers to sign up for automated replenishments through their online system, when a lot of our daily revenue was coming from people coming into our stores and replenishing with us. Not to mention buying accessories and phones while there. I ignored the memo, but it was still insulting to our intelligence that we would even consider that particular bit of bullshit.

    Ever since this Verizon merger got approved, the remaining Alltel markets have been repeatedly screwed by Verizon, as well. Verizon played games with the towers so that for a while I could not even activate a phone over the air without picking up a Verizon tower (from my store!). When I secret-shopped the local Verizon corporate, I asked the store manager if Alltel coverage in this area was going away. He said yes (that was 2009). The statement was not true, and I can only guess this what he was telling everybody who came in there.

    One way or another, AT&T, Alltel and Verizon all have screwed me in the past few years, and I can only hope that sinkholes open up under their world headquarters.

    (BTW, not that it matters much at this point, did you know the executives in Little Rock can't even get a signal on an Alltel tower, because Arkansas is not one of the 6 remaining states in which Alltel has a market. They probably all use Verizon phones.)

    Aside from the many agents who will get screwed as part of this deal, the customers that I have helped bring to Alltel will be left being screwed by AT&T and their world class fucked-up billing system. But at least they will have more choices in the market for cellphone service (rolls eyes).

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson