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Verizon Completes Acquisition of Rural Cellular

Article Comments  12  

Aug 7, 2008, 8:27 AM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

Verizon Wireless today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Rural Cellular, which offers GSM service under the Unicel brand. Verizon gains 625,000 customers and licenses covering 4.7 million people. Customers and stores will be transitioned to the Verizon Wireless brand and CDMA service market-by-market as network and billing conversions are completed, beginning early in 2009 and continuing through mid-year. GSM networks will remain in place to offer roaming for other GSM carriers' customers. Rural Cellular operations in Vermont, New York, western Kansas, southern Minnesota and parts of Washington are either required to be divested as part of this transaction, or are expected to be divested as a requirement of Verizon's planned acquisition of Alltel. Those markets will continue offering GSM service under the Unicel brand until they can be sold.

more info at Verizon Wireless »



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Aug 9, 2008, 5:07 PM

Southern Minnesota still not lucky

So it still looks like we still don't have verizon. This is what I copied from the web site.
In addition, it is expected that Rural Cellular’s markets in southern Minnesota and western Kansas will be divested as a result of the regulatory approval process for Verizon Wireless’ proposed purchase of Alltel Corporation. Consequently, those markets also will continue to be served under the Unicel brand, and will not be integrated into Verizon Wireless. Wireless service for Unicel customers in the markets named above – Vermont, New York, Kansas, and parts of Washington and Minnesota – will remain unchanged and customers in these markets do not need to take any action at this time.

I have verizon but not supose to....
The Southern Minnesota markets that are owned by Alltel, former Midwest Wireless markets, will be the ones that Verizon Wireless will assume, pending regulatory approval.
you could move.

Aug 8, 2008, 10:22 AM

People of Unicel, welcome to the Empire!

*Cue The Imperial March*
Except for the entire state of Vermont, all Unicel assets there must be sold (AT&T was the buyer last time I knew). Verizon is there as well, but Bernie had his way.

Aug 7, 2008, 3:05 PM

I thought...

...Unicel was CDMA? I have Verizon, and when I go to the Bemidji area in MN, which only has Unicel coverage, I still get service.
Unicell has GSM and CDMA architecture in different parts of the country. Some of the GSM assets will be divested to other carriers to comply with DOJ mandates related to anti-trust, but the non-overlapping coverage will result in VZW actually operati...

Aug 7, 2008, 9:28 AM


I'm glad this finally happened and the transition from Unicel to Verizon can take place, especially in Minnesota.
The article forgot to mention that Unicel in Minnesota is already CDMA, and won't require as much effort to integrate into Verizon Wireless as other markets do.
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