Verizon Wireless To Overtake AT&T As Biggest Carrier This Week

Verizon Wireless will overtake AT&T (T) as the biggest U.S. wireless carrier by Friday, the date that’s scheduled to be the final closing date of its $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel.

With Alltel’s 13 million subscribers, Verizon (VZ) will have more than 80 million subs. AT&T had about 75 million wireless subs at the end of September. (We understand that Verizon will have to divest some subs — about 2 million. But it should still have the lead.)

What’s in it for Verizon? Besides bragging rights, more revenue — especially from mobile data, and potential RIM (RIMM) BlackBerry Storm subscribers, potentially more favourable treatment by equipment vendors.

These include mobile phone makers, which could conceivably choose Verizon for exclusive phone launches over AT&T; or back-end gear makers, which might give Verizon cheaper pricing based on additional scale.

See Also:
Why BlackBerry Storm Is “Hot”: Verizon Subs Have No Choice (RIMM)
Verizon: BlackBerry Storm Return Rates ‘Lowest’ Of Any Smartphone (RIMM)
Sprint Nextel Still Winning The Mobile Internet Wars

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