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.
The major US telecoms delivered at minimum 1.1 million cell phone records to law enforcement at all levels of government in 2012. The records include voicemail and text content. The telecoms earned $26 million from the transactions. Many of the fulfilled information requests legally required no warrant, no subpoena, and no probable cause. These and other irresistible revelations come compliments of US Sen. Edward Markey, whose voluminous correspondence with the involved telecoms revealed the information. They include US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, MetroPCS, Verizon, AT&T and C Spire Wireless.
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.
Contract free wireless carriers are the way to go for many people around the world for a number of reasons. Traditionally one of the biggest drawbacks of going with a contract free wireless provider such as Leap Wireless or MetroPCS has been the fact that having no contract means you have to pay a large upfront price for a smartphone. Some of those upfront costs can be as much as $500 depending on the device chosen.