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Verizon buys up Rural Cellular

US mobile operator Verizon Wireless said Monday that it has agreed to buy regional player Rural Cellular for approximately $2.67bn in cash and assumed debt.

The acquisition will increase Verizon’s coverage by 4.7 million licensed POPs and will increase its actual customer base by more than 700,000 subs.

Rural Cellular uses both CDMA and GSM technology separately across its five regional markets. Verizon plans to deploy CDMA service in Rural Cellular’s existing GSM markets and convert the GSM customers to CDMA service.

But Verizon will maintain Rural Cellular’s existing GSM networks to continue serving the roaming needs of other GSM carriers’ customers.

Verizon expects to realise more than $1bn in synergies in reduced roaming and operations expenses as a result of the acquisition.

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