RealTime IT News

AT&T Takes Advantage of Spectrum Cap Regulations

The AT&T Wireless Group extended its footprint in the Midwest with the all-cash purchase of SBC Communication Inc.'s Indianapolis wireless system Monday.

The AT&T release stated the purchase, valued at $530 million, fills a strategic gap in its national wireless footprint and will be finalized by year-end.

The SBC, in order to get approval for its announced merger with BellSouth Corp., needed to divest its wireless branch in Indianapolis since BellSouth also has a branch office. The government mandates a spectrum cap for all companies in a market.

John Zeglis, AT&T Wireless president and chief executive officer, said it's ready to provide wireless Internet services immediately.

"It's pedal-to-the-metal for AT&T Wireless," Zeglis said. "Indianapolis, a city well-known for speed, is the latest fast-paced move for AT&T wireless in building our national wireless footprint.

"We'll add more than 113,000 subscribers from day one and have access to a market reaching more than three million. We can't wait to offer our full suite of advanced digital services and the exceptional quality and features of the AT&T wireless digital network," he said.

The nationwide carrier's "Digital One Rate" plan lets its 13 million customers using digital personal communication services make calls around the U.S. without incurring roaming charges. It's Digital PocketNet program lets users access its Intranet of 40 websites and a flat-rate fee for e-mail and fax service.

The wireless arm of AT&T has been busy acquiring other wireless networks throughout the country this year. Since January, it has extended its presence in San Francisco, San Diego, Houston and the Wireless One network in Florida.