Vermont may have gorgeous scenery, maple syrup, and civil unions, but up until now it hasn’t had the iPhone. Since the Green Mountain State is one of the few to lack native AT&T service, Vermonters have been left out of the iPhone classic and iPhone 3G scramble. Sure, they could buy them somewhere else and use the phones in Vermont, but it isn’t quite the same.
But as the Burlington Free Press reported recently, AT&T’s acquisition of Unicel will bring Apple’s amazing iPhone to the state. Unicel’s 10 stores in Vermont will be stitched over to AT&T by February and the full slate of AT&T phones will be available in them. The extent of HSDPA coverage will be patchy, no doubt, but Apple fans can get their phones, finally.
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.