Today Verizon Wireless announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Rural Cellular Corporation to further enhance the Verizon Wireless’ network coverage in markets adjacent to its existing service areas, and increase coverage by 4.7 million, and customer base by more than 700,000. The terms of the deal would have Verizon Wireless acquire Rural Cellular for approximately $2.67 billion in cash and assumed debt.
Rural Cellular’s network has severed approximately 716,000 customers as of March 31 of this year. It is spread across five regional territories, with networks located in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Rural Cellular utilizes both CDMA and GSM technology in its five regional markets, and Verizon Wireless has announced that it plans to deploy CDMA service in those existing GSM markets, converting the GSM customers to CDMA.
“Verizon Wireless continually looks for opportunities to enhance our customers’ wireless experience,” said Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. “The addition of Rural Cellular’s markets will enable us to expand our services into areas where previously we had little or no presence, and will give Rural Cellular’s Unicel customers access to the nation’s most reliable network and a broader range of voice and data services.”