Going Private: Alltel for $27.5 billion

7 thoughts on “Going Private: Alltel for $27.5 billion”

  1. Verizon is not interested because they don’t need Alltel’s spectrum and the price is way too high to just get the subscribers. Remember that Verizon did lots of market swaps with Alltel over the years, so the differentiated footprint is all stuff that Verizon avoided on purpose. As for Sprint, they have way too much on their plate already to be messing around with an acquisition of this size.

  2. Alltel is “one of the smaller” providers, but it’s also the fifth largest, with owned-and-operated spectrum in 35 states. It concentrates on rural and small to medium sized cities, but has a presence everywhere except Maryland and points northeast and the West Coast. They’ve been steadily expanding and buying up smaller regional operators (Western Wireless, Midwest Wireless, First Wireless of Southern Illinois, et al.), and really aren’t that much smaller than T-Mobile right now. They’re closer in size in number of customers (18 million or so) to T-Mobile than they are to the sixth-largest company, US Cellular.

    Neither Spring nor Verizon were that much interested because both have low-cost shared roaming plans with Alltel (including EV-DO in Sprint’s case). Alltel uses Sprint and Verizon’s networks on the West Coast, Northeast, and big cities to provide nationwide service, and Sprint and Verizon vice versa are able to provide nationwide service in smaller cities and rural areas as a result.

  3. Om, the idea of someone taking Sprint private is intriguing. The way I could see it going down is if Sprint kept the WiMAX and just sold the traditional wireless to the private investors. Who would get the Sprint name? The name thing would probably turn into an AT&T/AT&T Wireless boondoggle.

    Anyway, more so than Sprint, perhaps T-Mobile USA is the real contender for next to go private. Alltel and T-Mobile USA have very similar marketing strategies. Basically, Alltel is the rural T-Mobile. Now is the perfect time for DT to sell, too — before they have to spend a couple $B building out 3G using the AWS spectrum.

  4. I like alltel and T-mobile. I hope the Simple Freedom plan continues and even better gets updated, and cheaper. T-Mobile pre-pay is a great value but some areas I go have spotty signal strength.

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