Alltel on Thursday announced four new Android smartphones, including the LG Axis (free), Samsung Gem ($89.99), HTC Merge ($124.99), and Motorola Milestone X. The LG Axis and Samsung Gem both run Android 2.1, which is two generations old — the HTC Merge and Motorola Milestone X are likely the more attractive of the bunch. The HTC Merge sports a full QWERTY keyboard and runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) under HTC’s Sense user interface. Meanwhile, the Motorola Milestone X is powered by Android 2.2 and sports a 4.3-inch touchscreen display as well as an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 8GB of on-board memory. Alltel says the four phones are available now in stores and online, although pricing for the Milestone X has not yet been announced and the device was not listed on Alltel’s website at the time of this writing. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
If you’re on regional wireless carrier Alltel and are looking for a low-cost, Android handset, listen up. The wireless provider has just announced the addition of the Samsung Gem to its smartphone lineup. The Gem is an Android 2.1 device that features a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 800MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera (complete with a Superman-logoish bezel), Wi-Fi (with hotspot capabilities), Bluetooth, GPS, micro-SD card slot (support for up to a 16GB card), and 124MB of on-board memory. The Gem will be free with a new 2-year contract after a $50 mail in rebate. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Verizon Wireless customers in the 79 markets that AT&T acquired are being alerted that they will soon be AT&T customers. A welcoming letter detailing the initial phase of the transition is being sent out to this lucky group of Verizon Wireless subscribers and one of our readers was kind enough to share the letter with us. The letter confirms that AT&T is activating its service on a market-by-market basis and is working on integrating the two disparate networks. Once integration is complete, AT&T will transition customers over to its service, plans, and handsets shortly thereafter. In a bit of irony, these Big Red customers will be the first to have an iPhone 4. Any Verizon Wireless customers a bit jealous?
It seems like it was just yesterday, but one year has passed since AT&T and Verizon agreed to a $2.35 billion deal which would provide the former with select assets in 18 states and covering 1.5 million subscribers. Unfortunately for the two, the FCC had a lot on its plate at the time the deal was struck and the sale has been stuck in a regulatory holding pattern ever since. Now it finally looks like the FCC may be ready to approve the deal, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent an order asking that the acquisition be approved in a vote that could come in the next few weeks. Whether or not the other voting members of the commission will heed the Chairman’s advice remains to be seen, but if they do vote in favor of the deal it means good news for those divested locales who have been waiting anxiously for AT&T to roll in with its stellar 3G coverage.
It looks like Verizon has finally figured out what it’s going to do with the Alltel employees that it picked up during its acquisition of the company: give them the axe. More specifically, Verizon is cutting an unspecified number of jobs in Little Rock because those corporate positions are now redundant. The departments being given the axe include finance, marketing and legal, but there is some hope for those losing their jobs — Verizon would be more than happy to have them apply for positions in its call centers. We’re not sure if being asked to step down from finance to handle customer complaints over the phone is a nice offer, but having a job is better than no job, right? More →
Sheesh — now even Alltel is getting in on the action. It seems like everyone is trying to detract from Motorola’s big announcements later today as the flurry of news this morning just keeps on coming. In this latest addition, Samsung has announced the availability of the Samsung Freeform via Alltel. Specs include:
- Slim Bar Design with Four-row QWERTY keyboard
- Teal and Burgundy Color Options
- Music Player
- Stereo Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
- Multiple Messaging Options with Threaded Text Messaging
- GPS-enabled with Alltel Navigation
- Expandable Memory up to 16GB
- Voice Recognition
- Dimensions: 2.4″ x 4.42″ x .50″
- Main Display: 2.2″ QCIF, 262K TFT LCD
No, it won’t knock your socks off, but it’s certainly a viable messaging option for customers in the remaining Alltel markets. Though it is not currently listed on Alltel’s site and pricing has not yet been made available, the Freeform is said to be available immediately.
Oh, divested Alltel customers — did you think you were going to get the shaft again? Cheer up, as half of the dynamic duo for which we exclusively scooped Verizon launch dates this morning is headed your way. Unfortunately, it’s Robin and not Batman. The upcoming Samsung u450 Intensity is indeed headed your way according to Bluetooth SIG. Sure it’s not as sexy as the Rogue but all you maniacal messaging fiends out there will surely welcome a budget Bluetooth 2.0+EDR-rocking, side-sliding QWERTY into your families, won’t you? No word yet on pricing or a release date but considering the handset is hitting Verizon at $30 on a 2-year contract, we would expect Alltel’s pricing to be in the same ballpark on a 1-year contract.
Alltel customers in divested markets had plenty of cause to be jealous of their Verizon-owned brothers and sisters last month when Big Red launched the BlackBerry Tour 9630. Well, Alltel fans, it’s time to turn that frown upside down — Alltel has just announced the availability of RIM’s latest CDMA handset. The Tour is available immediately in Alltel stores and online for $199 on a 1-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. Gotta love that 2-year price on a 1-year contract. You will be required to select a Smart Choice plan, running $69.99 and up, and the Tour is compatible with Alltel’s famous My Circle calling feature. So, divested boys and girls, are you psyched that you can finally get your hands on the Tour or have you already moved on to daydreaming about the Storm 2?
Despite the fact that there’s still plenty of Summer left to be enjoyed, companies just love reminding students that another semester/school year is waiting around the corner. Sure back-to-school deals are nice but it might have been nicer to keep school out of sight, out of mind for a bit longer. The most recent Summer buzzkill notable promotion comes by way of Alltel and is available to the 91 divested markets not controlled by Verizon Wireless. In Alltel’s words: “New and existing Alltel Wireless customers with “My Circle” plans, Smart Choice Packs, and Bundled Wireless Internet plans can add up to four lines to their primary account, with a $25 activation fee per line, and receive three months of free service on those new lines.” So parents, if you’re finally getting around to adding a few new lines for your rugrats this is definitely a nice little perk to sweeten the deal. Alltel’s back-to-school promo runs now through September 10th — more than enough time to mull it over.
[Via Phone Scoop]
Just a few days behind schedule, Alltel has launched one of the more exciting handsets that will become available to its customers this month — the LG Tritan. Spec highlights include a 3-inch QVGA touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, full HTML browser, music player, G sensor, Bluetooth and a 3 megapixel camera. Oh yeah, and an “advanced UI”. As far as pricing goes, Alltel’s press release states the Tritan is available for $99.99 online and in stores after a $100 rebate but, oddly, it appears to have shot high. The site clearly shows a retail price of $449.99, an online discount of $270 and a $100 mail-in rebate. Let’s see: Carry the 4… Drop the 1… Multiply by pi… Take the square root of… Yep we get $79.99, just like the site says. Our advice: If you want one, hurry up and snatch it online now in case the site is low and the release is correct. Oh, and the site also says the Tritan is BOGOed up (buy one, get one free) so family plan-holders, rejoice.
[Via Press Release]
Pending regulatory approval, Verizon Wireless has agreed to sell the remaining 26 divested Alltel markets to Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. The companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Alltel properties located in Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and approximately 800,000 Alltel customers will be affected should the sale be approved. The big side story here — following the recent agreement with AT&T, each of the 105 divested markets now has a potential buyer. Hit the jump for the full text of a memo sent to all Alltel employees in divested markets from the Management Trust currently operating said markets.
If you live in Canada and are currently tied to a 3-year contract we suggest averting your eyes immediately. Beginning tomorrow, Chad’s crew will slice it’s top contract term in half from the standard two year deal to just one year. Subsidized handset prices however, will remain as they are now. Yep, 1-year contract, same handset subsidies. Awesome. The change will apply to each of the 91 divested markets — sorry, new Verizon customers — and will include markets to be gobbled up by AT&T. Paul Bowersock, Senior Sales & Operations Leader for the Alltel Divestiture Trust, had this to say:
Wireless customers have been waiting for an option like this for a long time. With a 1-year contract option, customers can take greater control over their wireless experience, having the flexibility to choose their contract length and the latest innovative handsets at the most competitive price possible.
Sounds good to us! The change applies to both new customers and existing contract renewals. Question: Think the big four will follow suit?
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A funny thing happened on the way to acquisition. The two largest carriers in the US, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, have commanded and conquered some smaller carriers and are now seemingly sharing the spoils. As already reported, AT&T announced on Friday that it will purchase a substantial portion of Verizon’s divested Alltel assets. On the same day, AT&T also announced that it will be selling certain portions of Centennial communications to Verizon Wireless as AT&T seeks final regulatory approval for the its acquisition of the small, rural carrier. Verizon will pony up $240 million for Centennial assets that include nearly 120,000 current subscribers in five service areas across Louisiana and Mississippi. In the end, we have AT&T buying assets from Verizon and Verizon buying assets from AT&T while T-Mobile and Sprint are nowhere to be found.