Although Alltel Wireless is only the nation’s fifth-largest mobile phone company when you consider the number of subscribers, they have done an excellent job catering to rural and low-population areas that are sometimes snubbed by the bigger names. Maybe that’s not enough. Alltel Wireless is apparently looking for a buyer and they have already had discussions with “all its larger rivals.”
As Alltel is CDMA-based, it would make the most sense for Alltel to team up with Sprint or Verizon, though a partnership, merger, or outright purchase is not out of the cards for T-Mobile or the former Cingular (AT&T) either. One of the major speed bumps to a potential deal, however, is that Alltel is worth too much: “the mobile carrier is valued at almost $22 billion, a number sure to rise if takeover talk persists.”
If Sprint-Nextel or Verizon Communications were to purchase Alltel, they would gain the country’s largest wireless network based on geographical footprint. This is a huge asset, naturally, and one that is worth considering. That said, Sprint is still struggling to integrate Nextel and Verizon is looking to get full ownership of VZW (which is 50% owned by Vodafone of the UK).
No representative from any carrier made themselves available for comment on the issue.