updated 09:19 pm EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
FCC concerned about prepaid customer migration to new networks
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily stopped an informal 180-day approval clock on the AT&T purchase of Alltel's retail operations. The FCC claims to have no information on how AT&T will migrate the Alltel customer base to its network "despite several Commission staff follow-up conversations about the importance of transitioning prepaid customers."
The FCC notes that AT&T has a plan for contract-based plans, but 182,000 of the Alltel customers are prepaid and not noted in the purchase plan filed with the FCC. No other issues were noted with the deal in today's statement by the regulatory agency, but the deal has yet to be completely finalized.
The acquisition, worth $780 million, gives AT&T spectrum, real estate, and customers from the Alltel operation. The Alltel customers must be migrated from CDMA to GSM and LTE.