A national wireless telecommunications provider has agreed to buy Alltel.

AT&T signed an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. to acquire the company’s U.S. retail wireless operations, operated under the Alltel brand, for $780 million in cash.

The impact of the transaction locally was not immediately known.

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.

ATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S., and its network covers approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states, including South Carolina.

ATNI acquired Alltel’s name, as well as its local customers, in 2009 following a merger between Verizon and what was then Alltel Wireless. As part of the merger, the government stipulated Verizon had to sell certain markets to maintain local competition, including customers in 18 South Carolina counties.

AT&T says that as it upgrades the network, ATNI customers and existing AT&T customers who roam in those areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

AT&T Inc. is provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services.

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