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?