In fact, the fight got so viscous in 2009 that AT&T (News
) went to court
to try and block Verizon's (News
) "there's a map for that" ad campaign.
The joke wasn't lost on consumers and we have been watching this battle ever since, many of us benefitting from the stiff competition and subsequent deals to win and keep our business.
Now, a new deal has been done. Reuters (News - Alert)
that approval has been granted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for the sale of Verizon Wireless's $2.35 billion wireless spectrum license to AT&T.
Yes, you read that line correctly; Verizon is selling some of its assets to AT&T.
If Verizon is trying so hard to claim some of AT&T's share in the overall market, why is the carrier handing some of it over for mere money? Don't worry - Verizon has its own plan and it includes purchasing Alltel.
According to Verizon Wireless, which is owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone (News
) Group, it must sell these assets in order to gain regulatory approval to purchase rural provider Alltel. Once this is complete, Verizon expects to be positioned even better in the market to drive market share.
AT&T expects to be able to close the deal by the end of the month. Once complete, AT&T would be able to claim 1.6 million new customers and expand its network in 79 primarily rural service areas across 18 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California Colorado, Iowa and Kansas.
The carrier then plans to integrate new customers onto its network over the following 12 months and promises customers would see no changes in their coverage, rate plans or existing contracts - at least for now. One perk offered to customers is the ability to select a new phone comparable to their existing phone at no extra cost.
Will customers happily follow along to AT&T in this change? It could certainly be the push needed for those on the fence to take the leap, but others may not be so willing. Given AT&T satisfaction ratings, unless the user is in search of the iPhone (News
), other carriers may benefit from the churn.