DALLAS -- AT&T has announced a definitive agreement to acquire wireless assets from Verizon Wireless for $2.35 billion.

Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets and 1.5 million current subscribers in 79 service areas, primarily in rural areas across 18 states. Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year. The states represented are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

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As a result of the transaction and upon transition of the operations to AT&T, the subscribers in these service areas will be able to utilize the benefits of AT&T's 3G broadband network. The network is now available in nearly 350 major metropolitan areas, with 20 more planned by the end of the year.

"Wireless continues to be AT&T's greatest growth driver, and this transaction will complement our existing network coverage, particularly in rural areas," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "The acquisition will add network assets, distribution channels and 850 MHz spectrum in a significant portion of the U.S., enabling even better coverage for AT&T's subscribers in those areas."

Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will purchase the assets for $2.35 billion in cash. The transaction primarily represents former Alltel assets, but it also includes assets from Verizon Wireless and the former Rural Cellular Corporation.

The transaction is contingent upon regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.