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The largest of the regional carriers, Alltel covers 12.2 million customers in 35 states. Headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., its native CDMA coverage is concentrated in the Southeast, the Midwest, and the Southwest. Outside of its home area, it has roaming agreements with coverage from Verizon Wireless and Sprint. On the device side, it offers a decent selection of handsets and smart phones that include such features as EV-DO compatibility and push-to-talk support. Alltel's Axcess data and entertainment service offers a variety of multimedia and GPS applications including video, PC-to-phone music transfers, and XM Radio.
Things you should know:
- This carrier offers an unlimited calling plan.
- As a CDMA carrier, international coverage is limited.
- Alltel's My Circle gives you unlimited calling minutes to any 20 numbers on any network, even landlines.
- Offers both regional and national plans, unlimited messaging packages and a plan that includes Canada and Mexico.
- Carries mostly LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Kyocera handsets and BlackBerry and Treo smart phones.
- Roaming outside Alltel's native coverage area may cost extra depending on your service plan. However, the company's EV-DO network is accessible in most urban areas on laptops with an Alltel data card.
- Its Celltop application offers an innovative and easy-to-use cell phone interface. Also, its Voice2TXT will convert your voice mails into text messages.
- Live Verizon Wireless uses BREW instead of Java for gaming and other applications, which can limit the number of choices available to consumers.
- Subscribers: 12.2 million
- Coverage: Alltel's native coverage is limited to 35 states. As with all carriers, reception will vary due to location.
- Technology: CDMA; 1xRTT; EV-DO
- 3G network: Yes
- Streaming video service: Yes
- Music download service: No
- Push-to-talk: Yes
- Analog roaming: Yes
- Prepay plans: Yes
- Family plans: Yes