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.

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