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AT&T nabs another, purchases majority stake in Element Mobile


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Via FierceWireless:


AT&T Mobility plans to replace Element Mobile's CDMA in service in Wisconsin with HSPA service carrying the AT&T brand, the carrier confirmed to FierceWireless.

AT&T said in a statement that it has reached an agreement with "the existing partners in Element Mobile" to form a new company "that will be majority owned by AT&T that will sell services under the AT&T brand to customers in Central Wisconsin." The carrier declined to provide details on the transaction, including the financial specifics.

According to documents filed with the FCC, the new company will be called Lake Mobility and AT&T will own 59.9 percent of it. Lake Mobility currently operates a CDMA network and AT&T said it will "overbuild an HSPA+ network on the CDMA network. Lake Mobility will continue operating the CDMA network for at least one year after this transaction closes in order to complete the HSPA+ overbuild. Thus, while the network is being overbuilt and converted, no CDMA subscribers will lose service."

In their quest for more spectrum, this will be the fourth acquisition of a facilities-based carrier by AT&T this year, following Alltel (ATN), Leap, and Iowa's Long Lines.

Given that they are shutting down the CDMA network, I hope they are not a Sprint roaming partner. I'm having trouble finding a coverage map for them.

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They maybe a roaming partner idk... but I live in the heartland of their service area and I always roam on us cellular. So not to worried. I feel bad for a lot of people around here though unless att goes crazy with coverage... sad to say but if att does convert all towers they'll be a big player here. I'm the only sprint sub I know around here the others are cut in half betweebn element and us. Sad sad day for small carriers.

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I hope At&t doesn't gobble up U.S. Cellular. 


I doubt that would pass regulatory scrutiny. Besides, they're a much better fit for VZW or Sprint. I hope they can stay independent, but if not, Sprint better not pass them up like they passed up Alltel.


If they did I'd be forced to leave sprint I think... :/


There's no GSM provider where you leave Sprint coverage outside Wisconsin Rapids? It's just Element and USCC? It's unusual to only have two providers (neither of which are Tier 1), so I doubt the FCC would allow both to be bought by the same company. If the FCC allowed AT&T to buy USCC (a big if), they'd probably have them divest that market to Sprint, VZW, or some other local CDMA carrier like Cellcom.

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There is also cellcom "verizon rural" ... but I have yet to find 1 person on cellcom. Only met 2 with verizon ( verizon isn't available for our zip have to have a different area code to start service last time I checked)

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This is one of the few rural acquisitions I'm OK with by AT&T - the other being ATNI's Alltel properties. Element was a terrible carrier. VZW had placed a target overbuilding on Element anyway.


I wish SoftBank would have tried to go for a buyout on these guys but they have their hands full with Sprint.

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