LITTLE ROCK, Ark. and MANKATO, Minn. - Alltel, America's largest wireless network, has completed its $1.075 billion cash purchase of Midwest Wireless Holdings of Mankato, Minn. Alltel expects to gain approximately 450,000 wireless customers in southern Minnesota, northern and eastern Iowa, and western Wisconsin, expanding the company's 850 MHz wireless business into contiguous markets that cover a population of 1.9 million.
Alltel is purchasing Midwest Wireless' licenses, customers and network assets, including its 1.9 MHz personal communications services (PCS) spectrum.
"The addition of Midwest Wireless bolsters Alltel's position in the wireless industry by adding CDMA properties that are contiguous to our existing markets in the Midwestern U.S.," said Scott Ford, Alltel president and CEO.
"Midwest Wireless is a strong business with a loyal post-pay customer base and a quality management team that recognizes, as Alltel does, that delivering superior customer service is a key to success. Everyone at Alltel joins me in welcoming the Midwest Wireless team and customers to Alltel."
Midwest Wireless President and CEO Dennis Miller and his leadership team will continue to manage the Midwest Wireless properties.
"The completion of this transaction is very good news for Midwest Wireless customers," Miller said. "Our customers will continue to enjoy the personal service they are used to receiving, and, after the two companies are fully integrated, they will gain the added benefit of Alltel's national footprint and expansive array of advanced wireless products and services."
Related to the Midwest Wireless closing, Alltel has agreed to divest four rural markets in southern Minnesota that Alltel acquired from Western Wireless in 2005. The divestiture is part of an agreement with the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has appointed a trustee to operate the divested markets, which include licenses, retail stores, employees, customers and the network assets necessary to operate the wireless business, until the markets are sold.
Alltel is the owner and operator of the nation's largest wireless network and has more than 11 million wireless customers.