BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless today announced it has acquired business assets of Dobson Communications in a major expansion of its service footprint serving eastern Tennessee from Knoxville to Kingsport. The closing is part of a larger transaction involving the acquisition of additional Dobson operations in Ohio, Georgia, and California for approximately $465 million.
The Dobson Tennessee operation covers six counties in Eastern Tennessee: Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Jefferson and Sevier. The business is surrounded by Verizon Wireless operations serving customers in Knoxville and Kingsport, Tenn. and Asheville, NC.
The Dobson assets serve markets with a total population (POPS) of some 290,000. Major highways in the footprint include Interstates 40 and 81.
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 Mid-South Region, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. Customers will notice a new look to their bills by third quarter 2002.
"This acquisition is great news for our customers in Tennessee," noted Rick Gall, Verizon Wireless president - Mid-South Region. "It's virtually surrounded by our current operations and serves as a major roaming territory for customers traveling across the eastern portions of the state. Now that we own the business, we'll be making the necessary network investments to improve service levels for customers entering and exiting the area."
The company will begin converting the Dobson operations that use TDMA [time division multiple access] to its preferred, CDMA [code division multiple access] network platform in place throughout the rest of the country. The Verizon Wireless network is the largest of any U.S. carrier, covering more than 221 million people, 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 26 cell sites and its switching center, located in Morristown, TN, plus three retail stores and one kiosk, located in Greeneville, Morristown and Sevierville. About 27 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.
To update your profile or remove yourself from automatic News Delivery, please visit the Verizon Wireless Customized News Service Center.