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    Not "just" the iPhone for the Green Mountain State. The Bold should be available by mid January.

    From the Burlington Free Press

    iPhone service in Vermont moves one step closer

    By Dan McLean • Free Press Staff Writer • December 18, 2008


    The iPhone, the groundbreaking and heavily hyped cell phone available to most Americans since the summer of 2007, is one step -- and possibly days away -- from being available to Vermonters.
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    AT&T Corp. -- which provides the cell phone services required to operate Apples' iPhone -- has been cleared by the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice to take control of Unicel's Vermont network, AT&T and the Vermont Attorney General's Office said Wednesday. Unicel is now owned by Verizon Wireless.

    "AT&T is pleased to have received FCC and DOJ approval to acquire Unicel's assets in Vermont, New York and Washington," said AT&T spokeswoman Kate MacKinnon. The rulings from the federal agencies were not immediately available.

    "We look forward to completing this transaction soon," she said.

    MacKinnon declined to be any more specific about when the deal might close and when the 10 Unicel stores in Vermont would be switched over to AT&T stores.

    Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill said she has been informed that the deal between Verizon Wireless and AT&T could be finalized as soon as Friday or Monday. "At this point, all the regulatory hurdles have been leapt over. They can close the transaction anytime," she said.

    "I think what readers and consumers will be most interested in is when can they get their iPhones -- and I think the answer is soon," Brill said.

    Vermont is the only state in the eastern United States, and one of just a few in the country, that does not have AT&T cell service, MacKinnon said. Antitrust concerns forced Verizon Wireless to shed several Unicel territories during its $2.67 billion buyout of Rural Cellular Corp., the company that provided cell phone service through the Unicel brand in 15 states. Verizon Wireless and Unicel served as the two largest cell phone companies in Vermont.

    In order for the deal to proceed, however, Verizon Wireless had to divest several Unicel assets -- including all of Vermont. Federal regulators mandated that a company that could be a viable competitor take control of those Unicel operations.
    Contact Dan McLean at 651-4877 or dmclean@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

    From Vermont Business Magazine

    AT&T MOBILITY HIRING FOR NEARLY 75 NEW JOBS IN VERMONT

    Unicel Stores to be Re-branded to AT&T Mobility BURLINGTON, VT., Dec. 22, 2008  AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets will add nearly 75 new jobs in Vermont as a result of its completed acquisition of the Vermont assets of Rural Cellular Communications, a provider of rural and suburban wireless communications services doing business in Vermont under the Unicel brand.

    The two companies have a long-standing roaming relationship, and AT&T Mobility is committed to a smooth transition for its customers and employees. Part of this transition includes additional staffing and network support in the state. Candidates interested in a career with AT&T Mobility are invited to apply online. Positions include (but are not limited to) wireless sales and sales management.

    AT&T's full portfolio of innovative wireless products and services including iPhone and the Blackberry Bold, will be available at ten former Unicel retail locations in Vermont starting mid-January. AT&T Mobility expects to complete re-branding stores with AT&T merchandise, colors and permanent signage in all retail locations, by the end of February.

    "When consumer demand for our products and services grows so do employment opportunities," said William Leahy, vice president of Atlantic region legislative and regulatory affairs for AT&T Services, Inc. "We are proud to be making a contribution to Vermonts economy during these difficult economic times and to be providing world class products and services to Vermont consumers."

    "In addition to building up our staff, enhancing and expanding our newly acquired wireless network in Vermont is our top priority. In fact, we are now planning next steps for launching our third generation (3G) high speed mobile broadband service in the state," said Steve Krom, vice president and general manager of AT&T Mobility in New England. "We look forward to welcoming former Unicel customers to the AT&T family and were excited to offer all wireless customers in Vermont access to national calling plans with unique features like Rollover and the industry's hottest line-up of wireless products and services enjoyed by our customers across the country."

    Why Vermonters choose AT&T Mobility

    Vermont consumers can take advantage of value-packed national rate plans and features available to the rest of AT&T Mobilitys customers across the country, including Rollover Minutes, a feature exclusive to AT&T Mobility that allows customers to keep their unused Anytime Minutes from month to month for up to a year. Customers on eligible AT&T calling plans can also take advantage of the nation's largest free mobile to mobile calling community to reach any of AT&T Mobilitys 75 million wireless customers without an additional charge.

    AT&T Mobility's wireless network is based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technologies, the most open and widely used wireless network platform in the world. As a result, only AT&T Mobility can offer 3G data roaming in more than 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea, as well as voice calling in more than 200 countries, in addition to the company's constant 3G expansion in the U.S. Nearly all devices in AT&T Mobility's current portfolio are "world phones" that can be used around the world.

    In addition to entering the state of Vermont, AT&T Mobility has also acquired the Unicel store in Plattsburgh, New York as well as the wireless network formerly held by Rural Cellular Communications in the Plattsburgh and Adirondack Park area of eastern New York State.

    To find out more details about the company's wireless coverage in Vermont, New York State or anywhere in the United States, consumers can go to AT&T Mobilitys online coverage viewer, AT&T Coverage Viewer. The online tool provides up-to-date wireless coverage information for specific locations. The tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
    Last edited by peterthe46er; 12-23-08 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Update with a date for availability
    12-19-08 06:49 AM
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