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AT&T Gets Nod from FCC on Alltel Deal

Mon, 09/23/2013 - 9:49am
Andrew Berg

AT&T has recieved final FCC approvel of its acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc.’s U.S. retail wireless assets operated under the Alltel brand. As part of the deal, AT&T acquired wireless properties in six states, including spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 590,000 subscribers.

The former Alltel network covers approximately 4.5 million people in mainly rural areas in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. 

AT&T purchased Alltel for $780 million and will begin upgrading the network and plans to move customers to the AT&T network by the middle of 2014.

The FCC late last month actually stopped its 180-day shot clock on the deal because it said AT&T has not provided sufficient details on how it plans to transitional Alltel’s pre-paid customers. 

As part of the announcement of closing the Alltel deal, AT&T also said it expects record third-quarter smartphone sales. The company expects third quarter smartphone upgrades to be higher year over year, similar to second quarter 2013, and expects to grow its smartphone base by more than 1 million in the quarter. 

In the second quarter, AT&T reported selling 6.8 million smartphones during the quarter.

AT&T expects lower year-over-year smartphone upgrades in the fourth quarter, however, given the higher upgrade expectations for the third quarter and the new 24-month upgrade policy.

The company is not changing its full-year 2013 guidance provided in January. AT&T will release its full third-quarter 2013 financial results after market close on October 23.

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