Verizon Wireless acquired Alltel for $ 5.9 billion. It also picked up Alltel’s existing debts to the tune of $ 22 billion, making the entire acquisition worth more than $ 27 billion. This made Verizon the largest mobile phone company in the United States. With the inclusion of Alltel, Verizon now has a customer base of 84 million. With services in 33 states, mainly in the South, Midwest, and West, Alltel is one of the largest CDMA carriers. Up to the time of the acquisition, you could purchase Alltel products through the Alltel stores in your locality.
Alltel retail stores would still be operational. But with time, there would be operational changes in these stores.
This Is Inevitable
In due course all the retail stores dealing in Alltel products would start providing Verizon services and start stocking their phones. Changes have started to occur already and are the noticeable effects of the acquisition. It is inevitable that an Alltel retail store existing in the same shopping mall that also has a Verizon store would shut down.
Verizon has assured its customer base, which now includes Alltel customers, that their area stores are capable of dealing with Alltel services and products. Verizon is still in the process of deciding which of the services and products – of both the companies – it intends to retain. Verizon would like to retain the ‘good’ of the two companies and discard the ‘bad’.
As required by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, Verizon needs to divest 105 market locations. It goes without saying that most of them would be Alltel operations. It is obvious that most of the Alltel stores would be affected. Though Verizon has not yet decided which stores it will keep, a lot depends on the location and the customer base the store carries.
All the Alltel retail stores will not close all at once. A lot will depend on the location of the store and in what city it is. But these stores will be integrated into the Verizon stores, in due course. As of now, the Alltel retail stores which have not yet been integrated are still dealing in Alltel products.
Verizon uses the Evolution Data Optimized network (EVDO) as its high speed data network. It has already started working on Alltel’s towers to upgrade them to work with its EVDO network. You can still visit the Alltel retail stores and pick up the Alltel phones that work with Alltel’s high speed EVDO network. This will ensure that your phones will still work with Verizon network when Alltel is finally integrated. After acquiring Alltel for $ 27 billion, Verizon is going to do everything to ensure it does not lose Alltel’s customer base of 13 million customers.
It is expected that Alltel’s billing system would be integrated into Verizon’s billing system at the earliest. Alltel retail stores would be re-modelled and carry Verizon signs. By and by Alltel signs will disappear and be taken over by Verizon.
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