AT&T buys divested Verizon wireless assets

Networx telecom briefs for AT&T, Verizon and Level 3

AT&T Inc. agreed Friday to buy selected wireless assets from Verizon Wireless for $2.35 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close by year’s end.

The Federal Communications Commission required the divestiture as a condition of Verizon’s $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel Inc. in January.

The assets AT&T will acquire include the wireless properties, their licenses, network assets and 1.5 million subscribers in 79 primarily rural, service areas in 18 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

AT&T expects the conversion of networks from Verizon’s CDMA technology to its own GSM technology and transition of operations to AT&T to take no longer than a year from the closing date.

Verizon extends cloud back-up to enterprises

General Services Administration Networx Universal contract holder Verizon Business’s new Remote Backup and Restore managed services suite via the cloud makes automatic backups of data on enterprise PCs to the carrier’s data centers.

“Large businesses and government agencies rely on the availability of information, and its loss can have a profound impact,” said Nancy Gofus, Verizon senior vice president of global business products. “Our newly expanded suite of remote backup and restore services delivers cost-effective solutions that ease the burden on IT departments by providing an automated means of storing and accessing critical data and offering an important business-continuity tool.”

Verizon’s service uses de-duplication to cut bandwidth needs and storage space, and allow the application to operate automatically and in the background.

Full backups of data demand staggering amounts of resources and can bring a network to its knees. Yet even incremental backups — backing up only those files that have changed — can result in many duplicates of the same data and place heavy demands on a network.

For example, an e-mail with an attachment goes to 100 employees, who download the attachment to their PCs. Because that action represents a change to employees’ data, an incremental backup will save all 100 copies.

In data de-duplication, only one copy of the attachment is saved, with pointers to it substituted in the other 99 instances.

Level 3 ups loan by $60 billion

Networx Enterprise contractor Level 3 Communications Inc. last week announced that it has received commitments from lenders to increase by $60 million its borrowings under the recently completed $220 million loan.

The expected net proceeds of about $60 million will be used for general corporate purposes.

The company has long-term debt of $6.6 billion. Of that debt, $186 million was due to mature this year, $583 million in 2010 and $569 million in 2011.

Level 3 expects to complete the transaction by mid May.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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