BEDMINSTER, NJ and WILLCOX, AZ — Verizon Wireless and Valley Telecommunications Company announced today they have signed a definitive agreement for Verizon Wireless to purchase Valley Telecommunications' cellular assets in southeast Arizona. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The purchase includes Valley Telecommunications' spectrum license, and network and operations assets in Graham, Greenlee and Cochise Counties. The license covers a population of 160,000 people and is adjacent to areas in both Arizona and New Mexico that are currently served by Verizon Wireless' network. Included in this service area is a large portion of Interstate 10, a major east-west highway, and Sierra Vista. Verizon Wireless plans to begin serving Valley Telecommunications' customers when the deal is finalized.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005 and is subject to federal regulatory approvals.
"We look forward to providing Verizon Wireless customers in Arizona with this expanded network footprint, as well as serving Valley Telecommunications' customers in southeast Arizona once the purchase is complete," said Tami Erwin, regional president, Verizon Wireless.
"This transaction will greatly benefit our customers because Verizon Wireless provides the most reliable nationwide wireless network. No traditional telephone or Internet customers are included in the transaction. Valley will continue to provide advanced telephone and Internet services to its customers, and we look forward to working with Verizon Wireless as it brings new and advanced wireless technologies to our communities. We were approached by several of the national wireless providers and felt strongly that Verizon Wireless lined up closely with our customer service driven operating philosophy," said Steve Metts, chief executive officer for Valley TeleCom Group.
Verizon Wireless has invested more than $4 billion every year since its inception and more than $5 billion in 2004 to stay ahead of customers' growing demand for voice and advanced data services by increasing the coverage and capacity of its nationwide network, the most reliable in the country. In Arizona alone, the company invested nearly $300 million in the last four years.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Valley Telecommunications Company
Valley TeleCom Group is proud to deliver state of the art communications services driven by local commitment to rural Arizona and New Mexico. Valley TeleCom Group is comprised of Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., subsidiaries Copper Valley Telephone, Valley Connections, and Valley Telecommunications. Valley Telephone Cooperative and Copper Valley Telephone are Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers that provide voice and data services to approximately 10,000 customers in rural markets in Arizona and New Mexico. Valley TeleCom Group also represents a regional fiber network offering IP, dark fiber, and long- haul services. The Cooperative was formed in 1962 and is headquartered in Willcox, Arizona. Find out more about Valley TeleCom Group on the Web at www.vtc.net.