AT&T announced this morning that they have entered into a deal to acquire the Alltel wireless network currently owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. AT&T will pay cash to acquire the wireless properties, licenses, network assets, retail stores, and roughly 585,000 Alltel subscribers. Alltel currently operates in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Caroline, primarily in rural areas that cover about 4.6 million people. The purchase will help AT&T secure additional spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. Alltel operates a CDMA network that should prove complementary to AT&T’s network. Once upgraded, AT&T expects customers in the covered “areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience.”
The deal is subject to FCC and Department of Justice review and approval. AT&T anticipates the deal will close in the second half of 2013. Hit the break for the full press release.
We recently wrote about the HTC Kingdom coming to US Cellular under the title HTC Hero S. The Hero S is supposed to come with a single core 1.2 GHz processor, a 4-inch qHD (540×960) touchscreen, a 5 MP rear camera, and a secondary front-facing cam. The photo above is US Cellular’s first press shot of the Hero S. It’s pictured beside the Motorola Electrify; a US Cellular variant of Sprint’s Photon. The Hero S is also planned for Sprint under the name HTC Evo Design 4G. Alltel is also expected to carry this phone as the Acquire. Obviously the device is attractive to carriers, we’ll see how it fares with the consumers.
Samsung Mobile issued a press release this morning letting us know that their Gem will be landing on Alltel Wireless. We’ve seen this phone in the headlines a bit recently, but didn’t know exactly where it would land. BlueGrass Cellular announced it recently, but other than that, a lot was up in the air. Well today, we have another official word.
As a CDMA device, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see it land on Sprint or Verizon, but no word has been given to that effect yet. If it’s going to wind up anywhere else, I expect we’ll know next week at Mobile World Congress. In the meantime, you will find the Samsung Gem available through Alltel Wireless, free after a $50 mail-in rebate. Full press release below.
Yet another new HTC device has been leaked on the internet! This HTC Aria-like device is named the HTC Bee.
Images of the HTC Bee first hit the internet on a Russian blog, although the image was blurry and did not have the silver color of the above image. The HTC Bee is said to have a QVGA display running Android 2.2 powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm processor with 384MB of RAM and a 5MP flash camera.
The same blog recently released a shipping version of the HTC Bee’s ROM and Alltel Wireless has been mentioned as the U.S. carrier this device will be available for. Since Alltel is a part of Verizon Wireless now, it’s safe to say this device will be available for both CDMA carriers. There is no word on exactly when the device will hit stores, however.