Hey, Regional Carriers Can Merge Too

from the not-just-the-big-boys dept

When Cingular finished buying AT&T Wireless, it was as if everyone who wrote about mobile operators had a pre-conceived notion that the market needed six carriers. To fill that empty slot, suddenly Alltel started to get much more recognition — despite being a regional carrier. With Sprint and Nextel merging, there’s going to be more room on that six spot list. However, it looks like this merger mania also represents a chance for some of these regional operators to consolidate a bit themselves. The latest is that it looks like Alltel (rather than being bought by Verizon Wireless, as some had thought) is trying to buy Western Wireless, another regional carrier. Both are CDMA-based, so that makes integration easier. Also, with little overlap, the combined companies start to look a lot more like a national carrier (though, they’re not completely there). What was that about consolidation among the national carriers creating less competition? It certainly looks like some of the regional players see it as a vacuum they can fill. Anyone taking bets on which regional carriers will be rumored to be merging next?

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Comments on “Hey, Regional Carriers Can Merge Too”

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Steve Mueller (user link) says:

I Thought Verizon Already Bought Alltel

I was in Phoenix visiting my parents over Thanksgiving, and my dad had a Motorola V60 that he didn’t use any more. My wife had broken her phone, so I said we’d be glad to take it.

When I got back home, I went to our local Verizon store and asked if they could program it with my wife’s number. The woman said they didn’t offically support Alltel phones even though Verizon owned Alltel. (The phone works fine on Verizon after I got in and set it up, if you care.)

Now it’s possible that Verizon only owns parts of Alltel, that Verizon just has some sharing agreement with Alltel or that the Verizon rep was full of it (imagine that). But based on what she said, I thought Verizon already owned Alltel.

John says:

Re: I Thought Verizon Already Bought Alltel


I was recently searching for information online about Motorola v60 phones. I noticed a short message you posted on “techdirt.com” on January 6th. I have a similar situation, and wondered if you could help me out.

A friend recently upgraded his service with Verizon and gave me his old phone that he was not using. I am with Alltel and my current phone is old and not working very well. I figured since Verizon owns Alltel that the phone would be inter-changeable. I took the phone into the local Alltel store and asked about activating it. They told me that it was “against their policy” to use any phones except Alltel phones. I asked to see their policies in writing, and they told me “no,” and that “they did not have this in writing.”

I talked to my brother-in-law who works at another major wireless phone company on the East coast, and he said that the Motorola v60 phones are all the same so long as you program in the correct Home SID Number prior to activating it. He knows many of the big company’s SID Numbers that are popular out there, but did not know Alltel’s because he said they have converted mostly to Verizon, except in some select areas–like mine in Nebraska.

I know that the Home SID Number for Verizon is “00018” and that some others also start out with three 000’s, but I wanted to know if you remember (or can find it somewhere) the Alltel Home SID Number. They are all 5-digit numbers, and can be accessed from the beginning mode by typing in a code quickly.

Any response would be helpful. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.


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