, which has 70.8 million customers, also will be adding 13 million Alltel Communications
customers to its total. Up to a point, such acquisitions are justified by the value of filling in coverage holes and gaining additional scale. At another level, such acquisitions also are a reflection of how difficult it now is to add new customers organically.
AT&T is just about out of sizable acquisition targets, though. It probably couldn't make a play for T-Mobile
, even if were for sale, for anti-trust reasons.
There are several sizable mobile providers left, but they use the CDMA air interface and therefore are incompatible with AT&T's air interface. Of the three networks, US Cellular
, with 6.2 million subscribers, would seem to be the most-likely candidate for an eventual Verizon (News
) acquisition move.
MetroPCSGary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary's articles, please visit his columnist page.
, with 4.8 million customers, and Cricket/Leap, with 3.5 million customers, operate in the credit-challenged, landline replacement and "value" market segments, and would not have the average revenue per user metrics Verizon would prefer.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi