Little Rock-based ALLTEL Corporation was one of the largest wireless telecommunications network providers in the United States until its sale to Verizon Wireless on January 9, 2009. At its height ALLTEL claimed 2,900 employees and 13 million customers for its cell phone, wireless internet, streaming music, and other data services. The company generated $8.8 billion in revenue in 2007.
ALLTEL had its start in the 1983 in the merger of Allied Telephone and Mid-Continent Telephone. The company debuted its first wireless network in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1985. In 1990 the company purchased local business Systematics, which it subsequently reformed into Alltel Information Services. ALLTEL entered the retail market in 1993 by opening its first of many wireless services stores.
The firm 360 Communications merged with ALLTEL in 1998, bringing with it 2.6 million customers in fifteen states. In 1999 ALLTEL added Standard Group Inc., Aliant Communications, and Liberty Cellular to its list of acquisitions. The company entered into alliances with GTE and Bell Atlantic to form a nationwide digital wireless network in 2000. The company bought Western Wireless Corporation in 2005.
The company sold its Information Services division to Fidelity National Financial in 2003. ALLTEL's telephone landline services became an independent entity in the formation of Windstream Communications in 2006. The ALLTEL Corporation was sold to TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners in November 2007. The company was sold to Verizon in a $28.1 billion settlement in January 2009.
The campus headquarters of the company stands at the base of Cantrell Hill in Riverdale. The address of the company is 1 Allied Drive. The Riverdale campus will become the headquarters of Verizon's region operations covering Arkansas, Oklahoma, northern Mississippi, and western Tennessee.
- Toby Manthey, "Verizon Closes Deal on Alltel; 50-75 Jobs Cut, More Expected," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 10, 2009.