Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Verizon Buys Alltel to Become Largest U.S. Carrier

The announcement of Verizon's $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel has generated quite the buzz in cellular news, which is to be expected seeing as how this merger will cause Verizon to surpass AT&T as the U.S.'s largest cell phone carrier. When a cell phone carrier is acquired, there are generally numerous concerns raised by existing contract holders.

Well Alltel customers, let me interject a few facts to put your minds at ease.

. Verizon is known for great coverage and customer service, but not low rates. You may be asking, "Will my rates go up when it comes time to renew my contract?" Analysts are saying that this acquisition won't cause rates to go up, however, it does mean Verizon and AT&T will control almost half of the market. This invariably means fewer choices for cell phone carriers and fewer price cuts.

. Wireless company acquisitions are a long and tedious process requiring numerous government approvals. With the upcoming shuffle of politicians, I don't see any progress being made in that department until at least February or March 2009. Not to mention, the FCC will most likely toss in its two cents. Looks like Alltel users won't experience any implementations of the merger until late 2009 or possibly 2010.

Mergers aren't all bad. For example, Cingular customers got the iPhone out of the AT&T merger. Maybe Alltel customers who have experienced tons of dropped calls will see vast improvements in their network. Or perhaps they will be privy to some sweet new phone selections! Could it be the rumored LGVX9600? Guess you'll just have to wait and see.

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