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AWS completes purchase of U.S. Cellular market in Texas

REDMOND, Wash.-AT&T Wireless services Inc. said it completed its $95 million cash purchase of U.S. Cellular’s TDMA wireless operations in south central Texas, a market serving 74,000 customers and covering a population of more than 1.3 million people.

The carrier said the acquisition complements its nationwide TDMA and GSM/GPRS networks, expanding its presence in south central Texas by tying together existing networks in Dallas/Forth Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, and pushing coverage south to Corpus Christi and Laredo.

Emilio Echave, regional vice president for the AWS south region, said former U.S. Cellular customers in the region are expected to be fully integrated into the AT&T Wireless network by late 2004.

In other news, AWS added two new phones to its GoPhone line. The GoPhone combines the convenience of no annual contract or credit check with the flexibility of a variety of payment options and helps customers control monthly expenses with automatic recurring payment options, including a new option that limits payments to a fixed amount every 30 days.

The first new GoPhone is the Siemens A56i, which lets users record and download sounds, and includes a hands-free speakerphone, preinstalled games, and voice dialing and command. The A56I has a suggested retail price of $70. The LG4011 flip-phone includes a personal organizer, a phone book that holds 100 contacts, and games and graphics, among other features, for $100.

AT&T Wireless launched GoPhone in May. The product is offered in more than 10,000 stores nationally, including Target, 7-Eleven, Best Buy Toys”R”Us and AT&T Wireless stores.

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