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ATN Launches New Company to Run Verizon Wireless Assets

Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (ATN) is making headway in launching a new subsidiary to run the wireless properties, licenses and network assets it agreed to acquire from Verizon Wireless back in June.

The new company, dubbed Allied Wireless Communications Corporation (AWCC), will locate its corporate headquarters in Little Rock, Ark. ATN says it will pump $200 million into the company, with plans to create at least 200-250 new jobs and more than 500 throughout the coverage area in six states: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

Verizon was required by the Federal Communications Commission to sell some wireless assets as part of its $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel Corp. Verizon agreed to divest 105 markets in total, most of them – 91 to be exact – Alltel markets in rural areas.

Following the closing, AWCC will provide wireless service to more than 800,000 former Alltel subscribers in the six states. To make things as seamless as possible, former EVP of Alltel, Frank O’Mara, will take over as CEO for AWCC.

“Delivering a seamless transition and exceptional customer service is our highest priority,” said Michael Prior, CEO of ATN, in a statement. “By locating AWCC’s corporate headquarters in Little Rock, we’ll be able to deliver service to our customers with an experienced and highly knowledgeable workforce. As we work to fill more than 200 new positions throughout 2010, we will have access to a large pool of talented professionals, many with telecom experience.”

The ATN deal is subject to regulatory approval from the FCC and is expected to close in early 2010.


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