Verizon to retire Alltel data network as soon as January 2013 [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
It's been a few years since Verizon Wireless completed its acquisition of Alltel, but Verizon is still keeping the Alltel data network active for customers with devices that can access that service. That won't be the case once the calendar flips over to 2013, though, as Verizon has begun notifying customers with devices accessing Alltel's data network that it plans to retire that network as soon as January of next year. Verizon explains that doing so will allow it to "operate more efficiently" and to provide "the best service possible." Users with Alltel devices will still be able to make calls and send texts post-shutdown, but they won't be able to utilize any features that require a data connection.
Verizon has slowly been phasing out the Alltel portions of its business since the acquisition went through. For example, Verizon stopped activating Alltel devices earlier this year. The retirement of Alltel's data network is just another step in the process, and as the letter above notes, Verizon is has an offer for those users that'll be affected by the change. Exactly what the offer is (and how many folks are still on the Alltel data network) remains to be seen, but it's good to see Verizon extending a deal to those customers. Are you or anyone you know still using the Alltel data network?
UPDATE: Verizon has reached out to us to reaffirm that the retirement of the Alltel data network will only affect Verizon customers using Alltel-branded devices for data service.