Sometime this morning, service to my Alltel cellphone will cease and my new AT&T cellphone will start working, assuming everything goes to plan.
This is happening because Alltel was bought up by Verizon last year. Government regulators decided that would give them too much market control here and damage competition, so Verizon was forced to sell the chunk of Alltel present in the Dakotas over to AT&T.
Because AT&T uses a completely different system from what Alltel ran, all its new customers needed new phones, which it has provided for free. That was smart. If they’d have told me I was required to buy my new phone, I’d have just left them.
They gave me a bunch of different options to choose from online. I picked a touchscreen model called the Samsung Eternity II. It came in the mail a few weeks or so ago. I don’t know if I like it yet. I haven’t even turned it on. But I did have AT&T move my contact numbers over, which they also did for free. Also a wise move.
Come morning, I’m supposed to turn it on, turn it off, and turn it on again. Then it’s supposed to be live from then on.
I’ll post updates on my experiences. If you’re also making the Alltel/AT&T switch, please share your experiences in the comments.