Alltel currently has 13 million customers; Verizon 67.2 miliion. The buy out gives Verizon a total of about 80 million subscribers, and puts them into #1 position over AT&T who have around 71.4 subscribers.
Alltel serves 34 states, including 57 mostly rural markets.
Let’s hope the some of the cost savings produced by this merger, are passed onto customers, but I’m not about to hold my breath on that one.
It could prove of benifit to Alltel customers in terms of allowing them access to Verizon’s OPen Development initiative. This allows third party devices and services to use the Verizon network, and is rather at the opposite end of the scale when compared to the way that AT&T tried to tie down the iPhone to only it’s own network, and then not want to allow other thrid party services access to it.
Sure the technologies are the same – Alltel and Verizon both use CDMA – but once Verizon has swallowed up Alltel, are they likely to keep the parts that are useful to Alltel’s customers, such as Celltop, and My Circle? Quite possibly not.
News is that we won’t have long to wait for the outcome. A deal could be announced as soon as today.
Remember the likes of Excite and Lycos? They seem to have vanished. AltaVista and inktomi got swallowed up by Yahoo themselves.
What Yahoo CAN offer Microsoft are the deals they have with Verizon, and the inroads they have made into the mobile market.
Windows Mobile 6 might not have the best reputation for stability (what Windows OS does), but WM7 is on the way, and more and more people are using mobile phones for everything but making phone calls.
What about the iPhone? Well, the iPhone is rather a cool niche product, but it does really offer mobile computing in the same way that Windows Mobile can and does, and as most of my readers will know, I am no fan of the Redmond giant.
Also many people that hacked their iPhone’s to work on other networks besides AT&T are now finding they no longer work after the latest iPhone updates. Also the iPhone is, officially, tied to AT&T, which is an expensive, slow, network.
Now, Google are looking to get into this area too. It’s well known that Google are bidding to obtain wireless spectrum, and are touting the idea of an open source phone with free (but advertisement-funded) software.
Google’s fear (besides being concerned that a Microsoft/Yahoo enterprise will eat into their market share) is that Microsoft will use their monopolistic powers to subvert the net; to change it slowly but surely, into MS-Net, much as they’ve done already, in the way they’ve stamped their feet at OpenOffice getting ISO 9002 certification for the .odt format, and they way they’ve only adopted the bits they decide they want in the Internet Explorer rendering engine.
Some say that Google is becoming too powerful, and heading towards a monopoly like Microsoft largely is. My own take on that statement is that whilst Google are enveloping the online world, by and large, unlike Microsoft, they are using standards that are already in place, and not trying to bend and change them to suit their own business practices.
Tags: inroads, iphone, market windows, microsoft, mobile computing, mobile market, mobile phones, niche product, overwhelming majority, phone calls, population, redmond giant, reputation, search engine, verizon, windows os, yahoo