The transaction enables AT&T to expand its network coverage to rural areas across 18 states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
With the completion of the transaction, AT&T will offer 3G mobile broadband network services in these rural areas to approximately 1.6 million new subscribers. Initially, the company will launch broadband network services on a market-to-market basis to ensure that the existing customers are not affected.
AT&T is pursuing a number of strategies to tap opportunities in the wireless data market. The company’s extensive 3G network already covers 75% of the US population. AT&T is aggressively deploying the high frequency 850MHz band to boost its 3G network’s performance.
Furthermore, AT&T will offer voice and data services to new subscribers as well. This expansion will help AT&T capture almost 97% of North America, making it the largest wireless operator.
The company targets deploying the 3G HSPA 7.2 network in 25 of the largest US cities by the end of 2010 with plans to cover roughly 90% of its 3G network footprint by 2011. AT&T also targets rolling out Long-Term Evolution (LTE), a 4G technology, in 2011 to offer a peak speed of 100 Mbps.