AT&T Purchase of Alltel Spectrum and Customers Delayed by Regulator

 The US telecoms regulator, the FCC has delayed the process of approving AT&T’s purchase of Alltel‘s customer base and its radio spectrum.

The regulator halted the 180 day process on day 175 saying that it had not received enough information from AT&T about how it planned to shift Alltel’s customers onto its network.

The customers being asked to migrate are currently on Alltel’s CDMA based network, and will have to be offered new handsets as well as new tariffs when they migrate services.

The regulator said in its latest letter to AT&T that “despite several Commission staff follow-up conversations about the importance of transitioning pre-paid customers, we have received no detailed responses from AT&T on its plans for transitioning ATN’s significant pre-paid customer base.”

Alltel has around 182,000 customers on prepay tariffs that are the topic of concern.

In a statement, AT&T said that it is “extremely disappointed at the FCC delay today on this small transaction.”

The small transaction being US$780 million in value.


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