BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, today announced it has acquired certain business assets of Dobson Communications in a major expansion of its service footprint throughout Imperial County, California. The acquisition is part of a larger transaction involving the purchase of additional Dobson operations in Ohio, Georgia, and Tennessee for approximately $465 million.
The Dobson California operation, operating locally as Alex Wireless, serves communities along the state border with Mexico, including Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro and Imperial. It is surrounded by Verizon Wireless operations that stretch westward to San Diego, CA and east to Yuma, AZ.
The Dobson assets cover markets with a total population of approximately 147,000. Major highways in the license area being acquired include Interstate 8, connecting San Diego with Yuma.
The Alex Wireless operations will be converted to the Verizon Wireless brand as the operation is integrated into the Verizon Wireless Southern California Region. Customers will notice a new look to their bills by the middle of this year.
Verizon Wireless will convert the Imperial County operations using TDMA [time division multiple access] to its preferred CDMA [code division multiple access] network platform used throughout the rest of the country. Imperial County customers can look forward to enhanced call quality, more service features, and a larger calling area footprint by mid-2002.
The Verizon Wireless network is the largest in the nation, covering more than 221 million people, nearly 90 per cent of the U.S. population. The company has invested more than $8 billion in network improvements nationwide over the past two years.
"This acquisition is great news for our customers in Southern California," noted Greg Klimek, Verizon Wireless president - Southern California Region. "This new service area is virtually surrounded by our current operations and is an important territory for customers traveling across the southeast portions of the state. Now that we own the business, we'll be making the necessary network investments to improve service for local residents, and customers entering and exiting the area."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the leading wireless communications provider in the U.S., with the largest wireless network and more than 29.4 million customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
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