Alltel Tried to Buy Everybody Back in the day

We'll have our thoughts on what the big shakeup in the Symbian world means for Windows Mobile in just a bit, meanwhile it's time for yours truly to crow just a teensy, tiny bit. See, Engadget points us to this this interview with Alltel CEO Scott Ford filled with crunchy industry wonk stuff. My favorite part is that apparently before they went private (and way before the now in-process buyout by Verizon), Alltel had dreams of being more than the rural-niche player they are today. My favorite part -- they apparently wanted to purchase Sprint, T-Mobile, and heck, AT&T back in the day:

I didn’t get to buy one of the national businesses, which is what I had hoped to be able to do and was something that we had tried in our old [business], back when we were a public business. I won’t go into the details of it, but we tried to buy Sprint three times, we tried to buy AT&T Wireless, we tried to buy T-Mobile. Some of these times we went with partners, some of these times we didn’t. We were doing everything we could to get to a national platform.

I enjoy this because I've often dreamed in our Windows Mobile Podcast that Alltel would buy Sprint now that they're struggling so much and it turns out that although they were interested awhile back. Glee! Of course, even this pundit doesn't know everything, because it turns out that the 'struggles' were exactly what nixed the possibility. Quoth Ford: “Sprint fell in the tank almost right on cue, they fell so totally apart that there wasn’t really an opportunity to go get them.”

Enough of that, though. There's more crunchy details in the interview about the possible merger, including possible job cuts, anti-trust concerns, and what Alltel intends to do in the interim. Hint on that last: keep working. They're rolling out EVDO Rev A as we speak and it's a good sign they don't intend to laze around on the couch playing XBox until the merger happens (if it does, of course).

WC Staff