BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless today announced it has acquired business assets of Dobson Communications in a major expansion of its service footprint throughout an eight-county area stretching southeast of Chattanooga, TN to north of Atlanta. The closing is part of a larger transaction involving the acquisition of Dobson operations in California, Ohio, and Tennessee for approximately $465 million.
The Dobson Georgia assets include eight counties in Northern Georgia: Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Towns, Union, and Whitfield. The business is adjacent to Verizon Wireless operations in Tennessee and Georgia. The Dobson assets cover markets with a total population (POPS) of some 250,000. Major highways in the footprint include Interstate 75, running between Atlanta and Chattanooga.
The business today operates under the Cellular One brand, which will be converted to the Verizon Wireless brand as the operation is integrated into the Verizon Wireless Georgia Region, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. Customers will notice a new look to their bills by July 2002.
"This acquisition is great news for our customers in Georgia," noted Jim McGean, Verizon Wireless president - Georgia Region. "It's adjacent to our current operations and serves as a major roaming territory for customers traveling between Atlanta and the northern portions of the state. Now that we own the business, we'll be making the necessary network and other investments to provide the best service for our customers living and traveling in the eight-county area."
The company will incorporate the local Dobson network infrastructure into its national network. The Verizon Wireless network is the largest of any U.S. carrier, covering more than 221 million people or nearly 90 per cent of the U.S. population, making it the most expansive network in the country. The company has invested more than $8 billion in the network nationwide over the past two years.
Verizon Wireless acquired Dobson's 32 cell sites and its switching center, located in Dalton, GA, and three retail stores, two of which are located in Dalton, and one in Ellijay. About 19 Dobson employees are joining Verizon Wireless.
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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