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AT&T Buys Dobson Communications

Article Comments  100+  

Jun 29, 2007, 5:57 PM   by (staff)

AT&T today announced they have purchased Dobson Communications, which operates the Cellular One network in most regions. AT&T will buy Dobson for $13 per share, as well as assuming the regional carrier's debt, which will cost the nation's largest carrier about $5.1 billion total. Dobson was first rumored to be for sale earlier this week, making this a very fast or at least well guarded acquisition. The companies have not announced when they expect the buyout to be complete.

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Jun 30, 2007, 12:02 PM

Are Dobson customer's going to lose their rate plans when we go with AT&T

I am a Dobson customer and I hope that I can still retain my rate plan Nation 1500 w/ m2m for 50.00. It has a bunch of minutes for 50.00 the reason why it is so cheap is that you can't add a partner line to it, don't need one anyways.

I know AT&T will not retain Cell One's statewide unlimited plans do to roaming. I will make sure I get some bonus minutes I don't think AT&T will do this.

The comprable plan is 1350 min plan for 79.99. 1500 for 50.00 do you see the problem that AT&T is going to come across. Any AT&T reps know if AT&T are going to make former Dobson customer give up their awesome plans. I don't care if they don't give me rollover I average 1000 minutes a month. What do you think are Cell One customer's going to lose...
I can tell you that I am not going to give up my unlimited plan without a fight I am resigning my contract asap to lock in for 24 more months, I think that all cell one customers need to start emailing at&t and let them know that we intend to switch ...
As the case with AT&T Wireless GSM plans, Cingular simply converted them over and you were grandfathered in. However, you would not be able to upgrade to a new phone unless you chose a current Cingular plan. The rollover was good enough for a lot of...
More then likely, the SOP is going to be the same as when Dobson switched customers with the previous AT&T wireless back in 2003. At that time, Dobson and AT&T both honored each others' contracts, but only until the contract period expired. At that po...

Jun 30, 2007, 8:14 AM

This solves part of the EON problem

Too bad those that this could have saved will be mad now. 😛

Jun 30, 2007, 1:43 PM

Smart Move?

With the buyout of Dobson, does this mean that Cingular can expand their network? If so, it could be a great move for Cingular in order to enhance EDGE since everyone and their mom is constantly on the iphone Safari browser. A horrible situation though for Dobson customers. Could their be any good out of this deal for the customers?
Not sure what good will come for the customers but I know that I AM NOT giving up my unlimited plan without a Fight. All CELL ONE customers need to start emailing AT&T and let them know if you take the unlimited plan from us we will be switching to an...

Jun 30, 2007, 12:32 AM

Why does at&t NEED to buy customers?

hrmmmm 1.7mil for 5.1bil -- can't they just earn them fair and square?
Where does it say that this buyout was EXCLUSIVELY for the customers? Oh...it doesn't.
Its not soo much the customers, as the network spectrum/license(s) it aquires. Dobson for the most part is a rural provider. It's main markets include the Midwest, rural Texas, Oklahoma, and upstate New York. Appearantly its also the largest provider ...
I don't see it as buying customers as much as added native COVERAGE for all the subscribers. Those of us in outlying areas will use the same towers we did before, but it will be native, not roaming.

Jul 4, 2007, 9:03 AM

Have they been planning this?

As I was thinking about the coverage are and the way it compliments, I had started wondering if Cingular had planned on this acquisition for awhile, but it needed to work past the absorption of AT&T Wireless and get the network back on track for HSPA upgrades.

I'm still hoping AT&T will end up being the company taking over the GSM part of Alltel, and with no GSM customers, there should be no regulatory hurdles to pass for that.
I heard rumors that Verizon was going to take over Alltel. I'm not sure if that was just the CDMA side of the house or Alltel as a whole... anyone else hear anything to that effect?
flod logic

Jun 30, 2007, 5:56 PM

what disappoints me...

...is the lack of communication on Dobson's part.
I work for an independent Cell One dealer and found out about the buyout on the news - we weren't told anything about this at all beforehand, and I'm sure the buyout is going to have a huge effect on everyone! Customers are going to have an awful lot of questions about the future after finding out about this in the news, and as a dealer we have no answers yet. Very frustrating, and a very bad move for Dobson.
I work in the call center in OKC and i read the other day on this site about a potential buyout and everret did send out a company wide email to all employees before it was final and announced the sale. this company has been exploring buyouts for as l...
I work in customer care for Dobson, and the customers usually don't have questions about anything until their phones actually start to read att, I'd say a good 5% will actually even inquire about it, which Customer care has been advise to tell the cus...

Jun 29, 2007, 6:40 PM

2 Questions!

1- Why doesn't T-Mobile gobble up these small rural carriers such as Suncom, and the rest so they can expand their coverage?

2-How long before AT&T buys all and becomes bankrupt? They keep paying serious cash just to beat T-Mobile at exclusives, and by buying small carriers.

I don't know why T-Mobile just sits there watching AT&T move ahead of them.
I dont understand either. It would seem like Tmobile would be jumping for this. tmobile is starting to be a very passive company being last at everything. If they want to make it they need to start thinking for the future. And I still dont understand ...
I have to admit that I'm a bit miffed that T-Mobile wasn't able to buy Dobson. However, we have to remember that T-Mobile recently spent a grip of dough on spectrum to improve their data network. While it can be frustrating to hear about the other G...
Yea I actually agree with you. I think that T-mobile should have bought out DCEL to allow for an expansion in coverage area, but again, $5.1 billion with the assumption of debt, is a lot of money to spend on any carrier especially T-mobile who spent B...
Because being the largest company in the nation isn't the same as being the most profitable company in the nation maybe?

I was raised in Alaska, and I can tell you right now that cell companies do not make money in most rural parts of the nation. T...

Jun 29, 2007, 6:14 PM

Scratching my head and puzzled.

I am a bit confused and puzzled with AT&T’s move to buy out DCEL because I do not feel that it would be good to buy DCEL just to obtain 1 million or so customers for more than $7B with the assumption of debt. The $2.5 B in synergies is very good but I do not understand why AT&T would especially when it has to deal with that AT&T had a great roaming deal with DCEL that it would be years before they would pay out a few billion dollars.
part of it could be roaming agreements as dobson has agreements w/ cingular and tmobile. therefor buy purchasing dobson they could not only gain more coverage in rural areas where they might not have service they will gain more money off of roaming ag...
long time ago,seems likeanother life i worked for dobsons and back then at&t owned like 49% of them anyway ao i was not overly surprised, but back then at&t and cingular where two different companies and tdma was still around so a lot has changed. thi...
I can tell you why, we had a stranglehold on much of the rural markets that AT&T does not even have a presence in. Much like the market i live/work in. Southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. I'm not sure what the AT&T to dobson ratio is...

Jun 29, 2007, 11:18 PM

What about the PHONES????

It is sad to me that with all this network Hype and all this iPhone hype, everyone has completely forgotten about the Pantech c3b that came out a couple weeks ago. I mean DAMN that is a sweet phone. Way better than the w810 or iPhone. It almost tops the g4011.
The what?

Jun 30, 2007, 12:05 AM

Full Circle

Just like AT&T went full circle:

AT&T Became:
Southwestern Bell
US West
Bell Atlatnic
Pacific Telesis

Southwestern Bell bought Ameritech, SNET, Pacific Telesis, then merged thier wireless with that of BellSouth into Cingular, which then bought AT&T Wireless, then SBC bought AT&T, chagning its name to AT&T, then bought BellSouth into AT&T, and of course, Cingular into AT&T.

Now, CellularOne was joint venture of SBC and McCaw Communications (which would later become AT&T Wireless), joined by SNET, and some other A-side cellular companies, and in I think 1998 or 1999, Western Wireless joined in. When SBC/BellSouth merged their wireless into Cingular, CellularOne became the property of West...
For me, it was Ocean County Cellular, to Cellular One Comcast, to Cingular, and now the new AT&T.
Except Western Wireless's "CellOne" brand isn't affiliated in any way with Dobson's "Cellular One" brand.

The two get confused all the time, but as I found out when I was transfered to Abilene TX, and thought I could keep my current Cellular One c...
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