Verizon/Unicel official

Posted by Kallan Dahn Friday, August 8, 2008

Verizon has announced that the approval for their purchase of Rural Cellular Corp is official! Rural Cellular Corp operates under the brand Unicel, and is expanding Verizon's network by 625,000 customers. This gives Verizon access to covering an additional 4.7 million people within the newly acquired area. (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington and Oregon)
Verizon will begin to serve customers immediately while they implement CDMA digital technology, as well as EVDO high speed wireless broadband. Unicel's existing GSM structure will remain in place to be leveraged for partnered roaming revenues. Customers will be notified by letter in the next few weeks that the purchase has completed. The letter will explain the new options that they have for phones (for those impacted by network technology changes). The phone options will include phones that are free, or at low cost. No immediate action will be required by any customer. All Unicel stores will remain open to serve the needs of their customers, but will be branded Verizon in phases, as will the billing conversion. The conversion is expected to be completed mid-year 2009. Required divestitures as a condition of the approval have already been placed into a trust management account to be sold. These markets will operate under the Unicel brand until they are sold. These areas include rural licences from Vermont, New york, and parts of Washington. Wireless markets in southern Minnesota and western Kansas will also remain Unicel, as Verizon has already committed to voluntarily divest these areas with the acquisition of Alltel Wireless. At&t has already purchased licenses in Vermont.

Read the full release at Verizon Wireless









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