Verizon CEO Sees Close of Alltel Deal by Year-End

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2008 | 2:05 PM ET

Verizon Communications Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said its Verizon Wireless venture should complete its acquisition of rural mobile phone service provider Alltel by the of the year.

"The end of the year looks like a good target," he said in an interview on CNBC.

CNBC Exclusive: Verizon CEO
Ivan Seidenberg, chairman & CEO of Verizon Communications, discusses the company's earnings and wireless subscriber growth.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon and Vodafone , is planning to buy Alltel for $28.1 billion, including debt, which would vault it to first place in the U.S. market, ahead of AT&T.

Verizon Wireless said Tuesday it added 1.5 million customers in the second quarter. This roughly matched some Wall Street expectations. Verizon Wirelesss Network covers 260 million customers in the United States.

"The core of our strategy is to have a great network, to have a lot of great products, to have a lot of entry points for customers, and our team did a terrific job," said Seidenberg. "Across the board, we’ve had a steady stream of handsets introduced, we’ve had a lot of services and products. We’re excited about the fact that wireless has a lot of upside.”

Seidenberg's next aim for the company is to invest in broadband and to improve speeds, applications and data products on cell phones.

Although Verizon's wire line business, which constitutes 25 percent of the company's profit, is shrinking annually, Seidenberg still feels optimistic about the sector and does not wish to split the company.

“I think our wireline business is in a growth phase," he said. "It’s a startup because broadband is new to us. The old business is shrinking, but the new business is growing.”

Verizon is scheduled to release second-quarter results on Monday. Analysts on average expect earnings excluding items of $1.8 billion, or 65 cents a share, on revenue of $24.2 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

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