Yesterday’s news of a Verizon iPhone makes Verizon the first carrier that serves the Dakotas or much of northwestern Minnesota to carry the device. But as AT&T moves into the territories it acquired when it merged with Alltel last year, the second might not be far behind.
The acquisition was designed to boost AT&T’s reach into rural areas (look at the carrier’s current coverage map, and you’ll see more than a few holes). New customers in Fargo-Moorhead still can’t sign up for AT&T – try it and you’ll get this message: “We are expanding our coverage every day but unfortunately this is one of the few areas we haven’t reached yet. Please check back soon. If you think you may have entered the wrong ZIP, please re-enter and try again.” – but existing Alltel customers can order an iPhone, and AT&T says the device will arrive later this month.
It’s not clear when AT&T will get a 3G data network up and running here, open retail stores, let customers in the area sign up for its service, or otherwise open its arms to the region. But if you want an iPhone and don’t care for Verizon, the option may be on the table sooner rather than later.