Infrastructure // Networking
News
7/30/2007
01:34 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Verizon Wireless To Acquire Rural Cellular For $2.67 Billion

The transaction illustrates the latest trend of major mobile phone service providers trying to grow their subscriber rolls.

Verizon Wireless said it will acquire Rural Cellular Corp. for about $2.67 billion in the latest example of the new attractiveness of rural wireless services.

Announced Monday, Verizon Wireless said the acquisition will increase its customer base by more than 700,000. Rural Cellular's networks range across areas in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

While the thought of acquiring small rural wireless providers would have been shunned not too long ago, the transactions are becoming a way for major mobile phone service providers to grow their subscriber rolls. The Rural Cellular acquisition announcement follows by less than a month the acquisition of rural wireless provider Dobson Communications by AT&T for $2.8 billion. Dobson serves 1.7 million subscribers.

Verizon Wireless said it plans to move GSM customers in the Rural Cellular deployment area to its CDMA service, although Verizon said it anticipates keeping Rural Cellular's existing GSM networks to serve roaming needs of other GSM carriers' customers. Rural Cellular currently uses both CDMA and GSM technologies across its five Unicel regional markets.

Richard Ekstrand, president and CEO of Rural Cellular, noted that tourism, agriculture, and small business have been strong business segments in the company's territories.

"The addition of Rural Cellular's markets will enable us to expand our services into areas where previously we had little or no presence," said Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, in a statement.

Shares of Rural Cellular rose $10.74 or almost 34% to $42.58 after the news.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.