Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
2 min read

Editors' note: Because evaluating wireless coverage requires experience with the network in a wide variety of physical locations, CNET does not rate wireless carriers. We can, however, tell you everything you need to know about the major carriers. We invite your feedback and ratings in our user opinions section--the more input we get from around the U.S., the better our users can evaluate coverage at a national level. For more carrier information, please see CNET's Quick Guide.

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.

Fast facts: