Quick update: Yesterday's reports were true and Verizon Wireless is buying Alltel for $28.1 billion. The deal was announced by VZW today and will make them the US' largest cellular carrier, passing current #1 AT&T.
According to Reuters, "Verizon Wireless would acquire the
equity of Alltel for $5.9 billion and assume an estimated $22.2
billion in debt, incurred primarily when Alltel was taken
private in a leveraged buyout last November by TPG Capital
(TPG.UL) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (GS.N) GS Capital
Partners." VZW will get more CMDA network territory, more subscribers, and of course the rights to yell "We're #1" all over the TV this summer.
The big question, though is whether or not the deal will make the LG Glimmer available to VZW subscribers. That's too sweet a phone to have been relegated to a regional-only carrier for so long.