After months of waiting, the FCC approved AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless, which gave it the better known prepaid service Cricket Wireless. Soon after approval was given, AT&T announced the acquisition was completed, and it seems wasted no time getting the ball rolling. As a result of the business move, the carrier's subsidiary Aio Wireless will fizzle away, being absorbed into Cricket.
AT&T revealed last July plans to acquire Leap Wireless, which would bring Cricket Wireless under its wing. In November, the company achieved stockholder approval, and earlier today received a thumbs-up on the deal from the Federal Communications Commission. Shortly after, the carrier announced a finalization of the purchase.
AT&T announced back in July they were moving forward to acquire Leap Wireless. This could bring Cricket Wireless under the AT&T wing and the purchase price was said to be more than $1 billion. Specifically, $1.19 billion. But while the plans were spelled out, that didn't mean the deal was finalized.
Leap Wireless' sales of the iPhone have significantly under-performed, despite expectations that a prepaid iPhone 5 would be in hot demand, with $100m-worth of unsold stock expected by June. Leap's deal with Apple saw the iPhone 5 offered through Cricket Wireless at $500 with no ongoing commitment, but according to an 10-K SEC filing, the carrier predicts it will have only sold half of the expected units by the time the smartphone reaches its first birthday.
Cricket, a carrier perhaps best known for its low cost prepaid plans, has released its 4G LTE smartphone, the LG Optimus Regard. While the phone is 4G-capable, it isn't particularly high-end, so don't get your hopes up. The Regard is available now, and is priced at $249, a fairly steep fee considering the low-end hardware you get.
Cricket has announced pre-pay availability for the iPhone 5, the first carrier to wade into the off-contract model for Apple's freshly-revealed iOS 6 smartphone. Set to hit Cricket's shelves on Friday, September 28, pricing for the handset is yet to be confirmed, though it will undoubtedly be higher than the subsidized $199 the iPhone 5 will go for on AT&T and Verizon.
Clearwire is currently in the process of migrating from WiMAX to LTE, but there was a slight bump in the road when Google announced at the end of February it was selling its existing stock in the company, well below the market value. The 6.5% stake was sold for $47 million at $1.60 a share, below the $2.27 asking price at the time. Clearwire has today announced a new partnership with Cricket, which will see the budget wireless provider making use of Clearwire’s LTE network when it’s eventually built.
We've heard about Cricket's Muve Music in the past, and the idea is the same as other subscription-based music services before: you pay a certain amount per month, and you get an unlimited amount of songs to download. Of course, with that kind of deal, there's always some form of protection involved, and with this new service from Cricket, it's no different. However, unlike the other services, even the ones that are tied to a phone, it's an extra charge per month. Not with Cricket's Muve Music.
Cricket Wireless has announced a new wireless plan that bundles unlimited music downloads with the usual calling, messaging and data access. Cricket Muve Music, set to makes its sales debut at CES 2011, is priced at $55 per month and comes with content from Universal, Warner, Sony and EMI. There's also a new phone to access the Muve Music service on, the $199 Samsung Suede SCH-r710.
There's no doubt in anyone's mind that 3G is pretty much one of the biggest factors in going with a new mobile phone contract, at least if you want to be connected at all times, and don't want to be waiting all day to get something done. And of course, let's not forget that there's a huge push towards 4G. But for now, 3G's the focus, and thanks to PCMag, we've got a brand new widespread test that shows which wireless carrier is the fastest. The results are pretty revealing.