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Verizon Wireless acquires New Mexico carrier Plateau Wireless

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 3:48pm
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Verizon Wireless has purchased rural New Mexico carrier Plateau Wireless, a deal which will allow it to expand its 3G and LTE networks in five counties across the southeast portion of the state.

The transaction provides Verizon with Plateau Wireless' cellular, PCS and AWS spectrum; an unspecified number of subscribers; and the carriers' current GSM assets.

The spectrum licenses span Roswell, Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs, N.M., and cover a total of 259,000 people. The assets give Verizon an entry into New Mexico counties Eddy, Chaves, Lea and Otero and a portion of Lincoln where it currently lacks coverage.

Plateau's GSM network will be replaced by Verizon's CDMA EVDO and LTE networks. In the meantime, Verizon will maintain the Plateau Wireless brand until it completes the transition to the new network technology sometime next year.

Once the switch is complete, customers will be notified of the change in providers, Verizon said.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Plateau Wireless is the brand name for Plateau Telecommunications, a subsidiary of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Telephone Cooperative. The company has 64,000 customers in 18 counties in eastern New Mexico and 12 counties in the Texas panhandle.

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