AT&T Completes Acquisition of Alltel Assets; Provides Third-Quarter Update on Strong Smartphone and U-verse Sales
Dallas, Texas, September 20, 2013
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today closed its acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc.’s U.S. retail wireless assets operated under the Alltel brand. AT&T acquired wireless properties in six states, including spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 590,000 subscribers.
The former Alltel network covers approximately 4.5 million people in mainly rural areas in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. AT&T purchased the wireless properties for $780 million. AT&T will immediately begin upgrading the former Alltel network and plans to move customers to the AT&T network by midyear 2014.
Separately, the company expects record third-quarter smartphone sales, driven by strong customer response to new marketing programs, new devices and AT&T’s fastest and most reliable in the nation 4G LTE network, which now covers 240 million people. The company expects third quarter smartphone upgrades to be higher year over year, similar to second quarter 2013, and expects to grow its smartphone base by more than 1 million in the quarter. AT&T expects lower year-over-year smartphone upgrades in the fourth quarter, however, given the higher upgrade expectations for the third quarter and the new 24-month upgrade policy.
AT&T continues to invest aggressively in the Project VIP network expansion, and as a result continues to see strong U-verse sales. The company expects to reach 10 million total U-verse subscribers by the end of the third quarter and expects consumer wireline revenue growth for the third quarter to be consistent with second quarter 2013. In wireline business, the company continues to see strong sales of its strategic business services, but with continued economic pressure on legacy services and overall wireline business revenue growth.
AT&T said it is exploring opportunities to monetize some or all of its remaining wireless tower assets. Any potential transaction is dependent on achieving the appropriate long-term operating terms and conditions to enable the company to maintain its leadership in wireless network quality and capabilities.
The company is not changing its full-year 2013 guidance provided in January.
AT&T will release its full third-quarter 2013 financial results after market close on October 23.