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Verizon closes wireless land grab

The company and Dobson Communications have closed a deal that hands over four territories and 950,000 potential customers to Verizon for $465 million.

Verizon Wireless and Dobson Communications have closed a deal that hands over four territories and 950,000 potential customers to Verizon for $465 million, the companies said Monday.

Verizon scooped up the wireless real estate located in California, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee to improve service and cut costs.

The former Dobson networks are adjacent to Verizon networks, which means many Verizon customers had been placing calls that used Dobson networks when they roamed into Dobson territory. Each time this happened, Verizon had to pay a roaming fee to Dobson. Talking on the network of another carrier can result in additional charges for wireless users as well.

Under terms of the deal, Verizon will take on the management of network facilities, certain retail stores, customer service operations and about 125 employees in its newly acquired territory. The company will also convert the network technology from TDMA (time division multiple access) to the CDMA (code division multiple access) standard it uses.

The companies are still negotiating final details for the sale of a fifth territory in Arizona expected to close later this month. Dobson owns a 75 percent stake in the area, which contains 200,000 potential customers.