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Cricket Recruiting T-Mobile, Metro PCS Customers

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A day after T-Mobile started it’s referral program, trying to lure Sprint, AT&T and Verizon customers to their Simple Choice plan, AT&T’s Cricket has a counter offer. On Friday, Cricket announced that T-Mobile and Metro PCS customers who switched to Cricket could qualify for a $100 bill credit for each line transferred–or about two month’s service, depending on what plan you choose. The offer is valid until Oct. 19.

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Cricket Rebate on Nokia, ZTE, More

If you like Cricket and you’re looking for a good phone deal, then today is your day. As part of a huge back-to-school promotion, Cricket Wireless is offering mail-in rebates on several popular models including the ZTE Grand X starting Friday. This Cricket rebate is going until Sept. 11 and includes phones from Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and ZTE. Of course, for some of the more expensive phones you’ll still have to pay, but the mail-in rebates and activation discounts are as much as $100 when paired together, so you could potentially get a pretty cool deal. They are even offering the 4G Nokia Lumia 630 for free with the rebate!

The promotions are as follows:

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Preorder the Galaxy S4 at Cricket: $529.99 plus rebate

Cricket customers who want to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S4 can do so starting now. As noted when Cricket announced the S4, it will cost $599.99, but Cricket has added a few discounts. With instant and web discounts the price falls to $529.99. Customers who order or purchase the S4 between now and June 22nd are also eligible for a $55 mail-in rebate, which comes in the form of a Visa prepaid gift card. To be eligible customers must send in the rebate form within 30 days of purchase, and must maintain service with Cricket for a minimum of 45 days. The phone will ship on June 7th. You can order yours at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket announces Samsung Admire 2, Galaxy Discover, Galaxy S4 launch, and LTE roaming

It was a big day at CTIA 2014 for Cricket wireless as they announced a few new handsets plus an LTE roaming agreement that could certainly help their stock. For starters they’ll launch the Samsung Galaxy S4 on June 7th for $599.99. Thankfully, for those who don’t have $600 to burn, they’ll have a financing option that will let you walk out of store with the S4 for $59.99. That will increase your monthly payment, of course, but it will cut down on the wallet shock of shelling out that much for a phone. For those who don’t want to pay that much, period, for a smartphone, Cricket announced two more affordable Samsung models.

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Cricket reduces iPhone plan price, intros $40 family plan

Tracfone might be making it look easy, but consistently adding subscribers is a constant challenge for prepaid carriers. Cricket has felt that in recent quarters, losing more than 500,000 subscribers in the second half of 2012. Yesterday they took direct action to help turn around that trend, reducing the price of their iPhone plan and offering a new smartphone family plan. Both offerings could increase the appeal of Cricket, which has faced stiffer competition in the past few months.

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Cricket will launch Kyocera Kona on April 21

What you see there is the Kyocera Kona, the latest flip phone to hit Cricket. While the company has, rightly, focused on its Muve Music service on Android smartphones, the Kona serves a portion of the prepaid market that is increasingly neglected. While prepaid carriers are trying to increase ARPU and other performance metrics with smartphones, many prepaid customers use those services because of simple, low-cost offerings. We recently saw Boost Mobile announce a similar — and perhaps identical — offering with the Kyocera Coast. For Cricket, the Kona will come out this Sunday, April 21, and will cost $60. That might sound like a lot for a basic flip phone, but sometimes that’s the price you pay for no-contract service. Boost’s Coast is half the price, though.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket now offering the ZTE Engage LT Android smartphone

It appears Cricket is back with another Android smartphone priced under $200. The ZTE Engage LT is something you might have seen on a major carrier in 2011, with a 1GHz processor and a 4-inch screen. In 2011, though, it would have run 2.3 Gingerbread. The Engage LT runs 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is pretty much all anyone can hope for in a mid-range handset. Surprisingly, the OG Engage, a 2012 model, is also available for the same exact price. It features a faster processor, better camera, and the same screen resolution. Battery might be better on the LT, but that’s about it. You can get either Engage model for $180 at Cricket’s website.

Via Android Police.

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Cricket lagging in iPhone sales, on pace to fulfill half of inventory

When Cricket announced last year that it would offer the iPhone, it sounded like great news for prepaid providers. Long stuck with an array of low- and mid-range devices, Cricket finally brought the goods. Sure, people had to shell out $550 for a new iPhone, but Cricket charges just $55 per month for service. which works out to $1,870 over a two-year span. The same service on Verizon, despite a $350 difference in price of the phone, amounts to $2,360. Customers could really save big.

Unfortunately, they have not chosen to take this path.

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Cricket spinning off Muve Music in hopes of licensing deals

Cricket wireless certainly has a hot property on its hands with Muve Music. Over 1.1 million Cricket customers currently use the service, or about a seventh of Cricket’s overall subscribers. In a move announced this morning, Cricket will spin off Muve as a new company so that it can license the product to other carriers. As they tell it, other carriers aren’t so keen to license the service from a competitor. Creating a new company for Muve could help allay some of those concerns. It will also offer carriers favorable terms, allowing them to brand and price it as they wish. Cricket reportedly has one international carrier on board. It remains to be seen if U.S. carriers will pick up on this, given the number of similar services available.

Via GigaOm.

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Cricket gets LTE roaming deal

Cricket might not have a nationwide network of its own, but in the past few years it has supplemented its primary network with roaming agreements from competitors such as MetroPCS and Sprint. They reportedly had troubles with Sprint in the recent past, but according to FierceWireless’s Phil Goldstein, they have restored the relationship. In the same piece he mentions that Leap has entered into an LTE roaming deal to supplement its own fledgling network. There was no network named, though it’s certainly curious that the report includes the information about Sprint (which I’d only previously heard about through informal channels). Agreements like this are crucial for Leap if it wants to sell LTE phones in its primary markets.

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Cricket adds LTE powered HTC One SV

Cricket recently added a new Android smartphone, the HTC One SV with LTE. It’s an Android 4.0 handset featuring a 4.3-inch screen and a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. This puts it up there among Cricket’s highest-end Android devices. It also contains Beats Audio and Muve Music, for the music loving crowd. At $350, it might even be a better overall deal than the Samsung Galaxy S III. THe One SV will be avaialble starting January 16th.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket now allows customers to finance handsets

One of the biggest drawbacks to prepaid wireless services is the high cost of the phone itself. Cricket customers, for instance, pay $550 for a new iPhone 5, while Verizon customers pay only $200. Yet in the long run Cricket customers will save more: $1,870 over a two-year span, compared to a minimum of $2,360 with Verizon (with a comparable plan costing more than $2,500). Still, that hefty up-front payment can be a hassle, or impossible for some customers. That’s why many current and prospective Cricket customers will be happy to hear that they are now offering financing for new handsets. Best of all, it will not require a credit check.

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Cricket launches ZTE Groove with Muve Music

Holiday shoppers looking for a good deal on a Cricket Muve Music phone might have themselves a deal. They recently announced the ZTE Groove, a basic Android 2.3 handset with a below-standard 800MHz processor and a 3.5-inch screen. Hey, I said a deal, not a great phone. The Groove sells for just $80 on Cricket’s website. It’s hard to find a better deal on an Android phone and service — which starts at $50 per month.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket announces 8 new LTE markets, 2 LTE smartphones, and 3 LTE rate plans

It was a big day for Cricket and its LTE rollout. The company made many new announcements that will affect customers starting immediately. The new markets include Philadelpha, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville-McAllen-Harlingen (Texas). Those markets are available now, in addition to the existing Las Vegas and Tuscon networks. Cricket also announced two LTE smartphones, one we knew of and one big surprise.

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Cricket loses customers in Q3, but gains elsewhere

It’s never good to see a carrier, especially a smaller carrier like Cricket, lose customers in any quarter. Yet the news was mostly good for Cricket, which lost 269,000 subscribers in the third quarter. For starters, the loss was less than the 289,000 customers it lost in the second quarter — though it didn’t compared favorably to the 10,000 customers it added in Q3 2011. However, Cricket did see its ARPU rise to $41.94, up 69 cents from Q3 2011 and 30 cents from Q2 2012. Cricket also posted a profit thanks to spectrum swaps that occurred during the quarter. And don’t look now, but one analyst is stirring the pot with Sprint acquisition rumors.

Via FierceWireless.

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Rumor: Cricket’s first 4G LTE to be LG Optimus Regard

What you see above is a promo bit for the LG Optimus regard, which, according to a CricketUssers.com poster, will be Cricket‘s first 4G LTE smartphone. It looks to be a formidable model, featuring a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and running Android 4.0. The downside: a small screen. While the exact size doesn’t appear in the rumored specs, the low 320×480 resolution suggests a 3.5-inch screen. That’s both a small screen and a low resolution for such an otherwise powerful device. We have heard that Cricket will launch an LTE smartphone this month, in addition to new markets, so everything seems to be falling in place.

Via @evleaks.

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Cricket picks up HTC Desire C Android smartphone

Pictured above is the HTC Desire C, the latest smartphone in the Cricket Wireless stable. It’s an Android 4.0 device, which is really the most important feature any smartphone can have. It has a small display by modern smartphone standards at 3.5 inches, but that can be a positive for some users. The Desire C costs $180 and is available at Cricket retailers and on Cricket’s website.

Via Android Guys.

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Cricket no longer offering PAYGo daily plans

A few weeks ago we updated the Cricket provider review to reflect the changes they recently made. Left out of the plans description were their PAYGo daily plans. They still offered them at the time, but they seemed almost irrelevant. As it turns out, Cricket felt the same. Earlier this week they discontinued the daily plans for new subscribers. Current subscribers will be able to keep those plans indefinitely.

Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket to get Samsung Comment II

Update: Via an email from Cricket, the Comment II is now available in stores and on Cricket’s website for $90.

A little over a year ago Cricket picked up the Samsung Comment, a BlackBerry-looking phone that provided only the most basic services. Now they’re picking up the sequel, the Comment II. As with the first Comment, this is basically a copy of the Freeform, which other carriers offer. It has a small 2.4-inch display at 320 x 240 pixels, and does run some apps –but clearly not Android apps. This one is going to be good for heavy text messagers and mobile web users, but not for heavy duty smartphone users. Price and release date have yet to be announced, though the Comment II really has to be a cheap device, right?

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket launches LTE in Las Vegas

Yesterday Cricket announced its latest LTE market: Las Vegas, Nevada. As we learned last week, this is just the first among many new markets for Cricket in the near future. They plan to announce additional LTE markets next month. For now Cricket is offering LTE only as a mobile broadband service, ranging from $35 to $80 per month depending on amount of LTE-speed data. The only compatible device at the moment is the Huawei Boltz modem, which costs $150. Cricket expects to release LTE handsets next month.

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Cricket to start LTE roll out next week, add more markets in November

It has been nearly 10 months since Cricket started its LTE test in Tuscon, Az. We haven’t heard much about it since — until now, that is. Company spokesman Greg Lund said yesterday that Cricket will launch LTE in one market next week. The market remains unnamed. Additionally, they will announce other markets in November, with an eye on covering 21 million POPs by year’s end. At first customers will be limited to the Huawei Boltz broadband modem, but Lund said that Cricket will introduce two LTE smartphones next month. He declined to comment on whether the iPhone 5, which Cricket offers, will run on this LTE network.

Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket to get ZTE Engage on October 2

Turnaround time on rumors is quick these days. On Monday we learned that Cricket would get the ZTE Engage. Yesterday they made the official announcement. As promised, it’s an Android 4.0 device, which covers up for other deficiencies. It also has a 1.4GHz processor and 4-inch screen, so it’s not half bad even compared to some of the Android smartphones hitting postpaid carriers. It will, of course, be compatible with Muve Music. The Engage is no cheapie, though, checking in at $250. You can grab it on October 2 on Cricket’s $60 or $70 Android plan.

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Cricket readying two new handsets: ZTE Engage, Alcatel Authority

It appears that Cricket will soon announce two new Android handsets for its lineup. First is another ZTE handset, the Engage. It is, thankfully, a 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Android handset with a 4-inch screen. It hit the FCC not long ago, so it should be announced sometime soon. The Alcatel Authority checks in with a 4.3-inch screen and the same 1.4GHz processor as the Engage. It is, unfortunately, an Android 2.3 device. That really does make a big difference between the handsets. We should learn more about pricing and availability in the coming weeks.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket will sell the iPhone 5 starting September 28

Well here’s a surprise. On Wednesday Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, and most of us thought it would just head to the usual suspects: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. But there’s a little surprise here: Cricket will sell the iPhone starting September 28th, That’s a week after the first tier carriers will get it, but that’s still a major win for Cricket. No pricing has yet been announced, but the pricing scheme for the iPhone 5 is the same as it was for the iPhone 4S. That could signal a $499.99 price tag. We will learn more as the date approaches, surely.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket getting a new ZTE handset, V8000

It appears as though Cricket is about to land another ZTE Android smartphone. For the time being this is dubbed the V8000, and we know about it because it passed through the FCC. We also know a bit about it, because Phone Arena got their hands on it back in May. It’s a decent device for Cricket, rocking a 1.4GHz processor and 4-inch screen. Apparently it will also run Android 4.0, which is more important than the processor and other specs these days. We of course have no word on when it will be announced and how much it will cost. At this point we do know that it will carry Muve Music.

Via Phone Arena.

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Cricket changes rate plans, adds Muve Music to all Android smartphones

Another year, another new set of rate plans for Cricket. They let us know these were coming, though, and starting September 2 they’ll be available. Most notable of the announcements: Muve Music will now be available on all Android smartphones, and with all Android rate plans. That means you can get Muve for as little as $50 per month. Muve has become a big selling point for Cricket, so it’s good to see them putting it front and center with all of their offerings. After the jump, the details on the rate plans.

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Radio Shack No Contract Wireless to get Muve Music for $50 and $60 plans

We have seen plenty of information regarding Radio Shack No Contract Wireless in advance of its launch, which should be announced next week. The last missing piece has been the service plans. These are powered by Cricket, so we could have expected something along the lines of Cricket’s unlimited plans. That’s what the plans will look like. Both smartphone plans will include Muve Music, and they’ll also have plenty of other options for smartphone users.

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Cricket to launch HTC One V — Radio Shack MVNO to follow?

When we heard last week that Cricket was going to form an MVNO with Radio Shack, word was that their first handset would be the HTC One V. This week Cricket announced the One V, but for its own main carrier. It will launch September 2 for $269.99. For a quick review, it’s an Android 4.0 device with a 3.7-inch screen. It is also Muve Music compatible. This coincides with word that the Radio Shack – Cricket MVNO, named RadioShack No Contract Wireless, will launch on September 5.

Via Phone Scoop and Engadget.

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Radio Shack reportedly getting into MVNO space with Cricket

For years Radio Shack has sold wireless services for many prepaid and postpaid carriers, but now they might seek their own offering. A report on Cricket Wireless as the partner. This seems a bit odd, because Cricket itself has MVNO-like features; it rents network space from Sprint in order to serve a larger portion of the country. The handset listed is the HTC One V, which is available through Virgin Mobile. Clearly we need more details before making a judgment on this. Will Radio Shack also take advantage of Cricket’s Sprint network agreement?

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Leap loses nearly 300,000 subscribers in Q2

The second quarter was not kind to Cricket Wireless. The company lost 289,270 customers, which is nearly three times more than the 103,000 they lost in Q2 2011 and far greater than the expected losses. Rival MetroPCS also lost many subscribers in Q2, but actually saw its stock rise due to revenue gains. Cricket came in below revenue expectations, due to what they claim is failed customer retention programs. The blog Seeking Alpha argues that Leap Wireless might explore a sale of Cricket — but remember, they’re a blog that seeks page views. It seems like nothing but speculation at this point. But, given Cricket’s results this year, a 41 percent reduction of its market value, the speculation isn’t too far off base.

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Cricket launches Huawei Ascend Q

Fans of smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards on the face will find a new friend with Cricket. They just launched the Huawei Ascend Q, a low-level Android handset that looks something like a BlackBerry. It has a slow 800MHz processor (to further remind you of the BlackBerry) and has a screen that measures 3.2-inches. It runs Android 2.3, predictably, so it’s still an outdated version of the software. Chances are it will not get an upgrade to 4.0, so rooting the device and using a custom ROM might be the best choice. You can get teh Ascend Q for $140 from Cricket’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket offers discount plan and Muve Music phone for new customers

Cricket might have made headlines when it announced it would offer the iPhone 4 and 4S, but that doesn’t mean they’re turning away from their other smartphones. In fact, they’re starting up a new promotion that focuses on their most celebrated service: Muve Music. For the rest of this month they’re offering new customers $10 off the monthly rate for Muve Music plans. As long as customers continue make on-time payments, they’ll get Muve Music service at $45 for feature phones and $55 for Android phones. Customers who port their numbers from other carriers can also get a discount on a phone.

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Huawei M660 heading to Cricket soon

A little more than a month ago we heard the Huawei M660 Android smartphone was headed to MetroPCS. The handset is still coming out soon, true, but Metro will not be its first destination. As it turns out Cricket will be the first to carry the full-QWERTY bar-style smartphone. An announcement could come within the next week or so.

Via Phone Arena.

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Cricket gains distribution at Kmart stores

Kmart isn’t the name it once was, but it’s still a fairly big player in the big box retail game. Cricket is tapping into that, as they’ve announced a distribution deal that will put Cricket phones and services into 1,200 Kmart stores across the country. Initially available will be two smartphones, the Samsung Vitality and the ZTE Score, both of which are Muve Music compatible, and two feature phones, the Samsung Chrono and the Huawei Pillar. With distribution now at Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon.com, Cricket is in a position to reach more consumers than ever.

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Cricket launches BlackBerry Curve 9350

Cricket might have made waves with its iPhone announcement, but it isn’t quite done adding handsets. We had heard that they would add upwards of a dozen handsets later this year, but it appears they’re getting a head start. The latest announcement: The BlackBerry Curve 9530. Honestly, for those who have liked the BlackBerry in the past, but were frustrated by its lack of progress, this could be a winner. BlackBerry OS 7 is a bit better than its predecessors, and it even contains a usable browser. The specs have also been overhauled, so it doesn’t lag like previous models. You can get the Curve 9530 for $199.99 with the $55 unlimited plan at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket’s iPhone bid: $900 million over three years

We know that carriers that want to offer Apple’s iPhone won’t do so cheaply. As we mentioned this morning, Sprint is paying $20 billion for its inventory. Cricket, having about 50 million fewer subscribers than Sprint, clearly doesn’t have that kind of burden. They’re reportedly on the hook for $900 million over three years, though, which is a tremendous outlay. The report, which comes from Phil Goldstein at FierceWireless also contains a limiting revelation for Cricket.

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Cricket strikes it big, will offer iPhone 4 and 4S in June

Usually we see low- and mid-tier smartphones head to prepaid carriers. Rarely do we see the highest end phones on the market. Cricket will buck that trend. Starting on June 22, they will offer both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. True, there are some Android handsets with more impressive specs, but when it comes to phone popularity, the iPhone is second to none. The prices are relatively reasonable as well, though clearly they’re higher than other smartphones Cricket offers.

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Cricket partners with CD Baby for Muve Music

Music aficionados no doubt know the name CD Baby. It is, as they say, “the world’s largest online distributor of independent music.” Founded Derek Sivers, from whom you can learn a lot, it has grown into a place where independent artists can get their music into the hands of an audience. Now those artists will get an even greater chance, as more than four million tracks from CD Baby will be added to Cricket‘s Muve Music platform. The independent artists on CD Baby will likely adore the 600,000 — and growing — users of Cricket’s Muve Music service. Only a few tracks will be available in the near term, but the entire catalog should be available by the end of 2012.

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Cricket to get ZTE Nova 4.0 V8000 this summer

Remember last week when we learned that Cricket would offer upwards of 10 new devices starting this summer? As it turns out, one of them might be the ZTE Nova 4.0 V8000. It’s not a high-end Android device, featuring a 1GHz processor with a 4-inch screen. But it does have a gig of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, plus the always-present microSD expansion. Plus, ti will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a big plus. ZTE reps at CTIA 2012 confirmed that it’s headed Cricket’s way, so you can assume it’s part of that new device lineup they promised. There are no further details at the moment, but we’ll probably get some soon enough. You can assume Cricket will change the name.

Via The Verge.

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AT&T and Leap continue to talk Cricket deal

Merger and acquisition rumors are nothing new in the prepaid realm. Years ago a month wouldn’t go by where we didn’t hear someone speculating on a MetroPCs-Cricket merger. In the last few years we’ve heard little on that front, though. Instead, we hear about bigger companies trying to acquire these regional carriers. Last week we learned that T-Mobile was talking merger with MetroPCS. A few months ago we heard that AT&T was talking acquisition with Cricket. Late last week Reuters published a report restating AT&T’s interest in Leap Wireless. The talks were held “in recent months,” according to the report, so it’s unclear if anything new has developed since February. But given the general lack of spectrum and the value it holds to the biggest carriers, we could see further movement on these fronts. It would not be a surprise to see larger carriers purchase both MetroPCS and Cricket in 2012.

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Look for a slew of new phones from Cricket

Just a quick note for the late morning. CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt, reporting from CTIA 2012, talked with Cricket spokesman Greg Lund, who dropped some interesting news. He mentioned that starting later this summer, specifically July 31, his company will release “upwards of 10 devices.” With MetroPCS talking low-cost LTE Android devices, and with Cricket thriving on its Muve Music service, chances are these will be of the smartphone variety. Unfortunately, that means we’ll likely see little movement between then and now. But Cricket customers could be in luck come August.

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Cricket continues adding smartphone customers, plans price overhaul

The story with Cricket‘s Q1 earnings call wasn’t so much their numbers as the sense of mystery that CEO Doug Hutcheson instilled. Yes, Leap did add 258,000 subscribers, besting rival MetroPCS. They also note that 62 percent of new handset sales were smartphones, which is a positive sign. But the big part of the announcement was that Leap plans to again overhaul its service plans and handset lineup in the second half of this year. They made a similar move in the summer of 2010. We’ll be on the lookout for any rumors or leaks that might unveil what Cricket has in store. Almost certainly the changes will involve LTE; Cricket is currently building out an LTE network.

Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket gains distribution from Target

Cricket got some good news over the weekend, as they saw their phones and services enter Target retail stores. This is big news for the regional carrier, which is now carried at a number of big box retailers nationwide, including Wal Mart and Best Buy. Adding Cricket further expands Cricket’s reach. This should mean big things especially for Cricket’s Muve Music service, which has fueled the company’s growth for the past year.

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T-Mobile and Leap Wireless to swap spectrum

This might get to be a more regular occurrence. Yesterday T-Mobile and Leap Wireless, parent of Cricket, agreed to a spectrum swap that should improve coverage for each company. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Leap engage in a spectrum swap. Late last year they traded spectrum with Verizon. With little spectrum available for companies to add, many of them are swapping with other companies in order to fortify weaknesses. If you want to see a list of markets affected by the swap, you can check out the original post on CNET.

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Cricket upgrades Huawei Mercury to include Muve Music

Late last year Cricket introduced the Huawei Mercury, its most powerful Android handset to date. Featuring a 1.4GHz processor and a 854×480 resolution, 4-inch screen, it borders on a high-end handset, which is big for a prepaid carrier. Yesterday Cricket made it even better by making it compatible with its popular Muve Music service. It requires an upgrade to the $65 Muve Music plan, but once customers select that plan they can access millions of songs, which they can download right to the device. You can get a Mercury or upgrade your account at Cricket’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket signs LTE agreement with Clearwire

If you remember the name Clearwire, it’s probably in conjunction with WiMAX, the failed fourth-generation cellular technology. They had originally partnered with Sprint to provide those services, but Sprint has since moved on. Clearwire, however, remains in the game. Now they’re developing an LTE network, and plan to sell capacity to carriers on a wholesale basis. Cricket has recently signed a five-year agreement with them. This will help Cricket make the transition to 4G LTE, a process that it started late last year with a launch in Tucson, Arizona.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket could license Muve Music

Cricket is by no means shy about its success with Muve Music, it’s unlimited music plan. In January they sent out a press release touting the 500,000th Muve customer. They also talk about the service at any given opportunity, including analyst calls. A recent such conversation brought to the fore an interesting idea: could Cricket license Muve to other carriers? The answer is yes, though Cricket won’t be helping the competition here. Instead they will keep an open mind when talking to foreign carriers, some of which have expressed an interest in Muve. It’s just another feather in the cap of what has become a profitable service for Cricket.

Via Wireless Week.

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Let the rumors begin: AT&T, Leap reportedly talking

Shortly after its bid for T-Mobile fell through, AT&T started seeking alternative sources of spectrum. Unsurprisingly, Leap Wireless was on that list. We heard low level rumblings of interest a month ago, but now it appears that things are at least slightly more serious. According to a Wall Street Journal report, AT&T is talking to Leap and MetroPCS, among others. It’s pretty clear that they’re in the beginning stages, where they’re assessing the market. Given that no available company holds nearly as much spectrum as T-Mobile, we could perhaps see AT&T try to acquire more than one regional carrier. This will probably move slow, as AT&T has reason to be cautious this time around. But don’t be surprised to see them make a big splash in 2012, perhaps involving Cricket, MetroPCS, or both.

Via IntoMobile.

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Cricket making voice calls more efficient

Cricket appears to be searching for any possible way to further stretch its spectrum. This could be crucial, with LTE on the horizon. Its latest development: CDMA 1X Advanced for voice calls. That might not sound very advanced, since 1X compared to EVDO is like dial-up internet compared to DSL. But Cricket plans to use this for voice calls, since it can handle them much better than the current CDMA200 1X networks. There are a lot of acronyms in there, but the long and short is that this CDMA 1X Advanced development will lessen the strain on Cricket’s network. They currently have only one handset, the Huawei Mercury, but it plans to include it on “all of its new feature phones by the third quarter of 2012.”

Via FierceWireless.

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Leap looking at session-based data, Sprint as LTE partner

Leap Wireless CEO Doug Hutcheson spoke last week at a Citigroup investor event, and he wasn’t just blowing the normal smoke. He actually talked about significant changes that could greatly affect how Cricket moves through 2012. The first, via Phone Scoop, is session-based data plans. That is, data usage would come on-demand, rather than as a flat monthly fee. This will help more evenly distribute how much customers pay for data. Those needing more and faster connections will pay more, while those needing less will pay less. Carriers have been reluctant to do this in the past, since it brings unpredictable revenue. But with many companies complaining about a spectrum shortage, this is one possible solution.

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