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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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MetroPCS, Cricket could be in for big 2012

It seems a little early for earnings reports, but that’s what we got yesterday from both MetroPCS and Cricket. Unfortunately, neither fared particularly well in the fourth quarter when compared to the same period last year. Metro added 197,000 subscribers, down from 298,000 last year, while Cricket added 175,000, down from 300,000. In terms of churn both companies stayed relatively level year-over-year, though Cricket appears to have lowered its rate a bit. That wraps up 2011 for both companies, but what lies ahead in 2012 could be quite exciting.

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Cricket goes live with LTE in Tuscon

The clock is running out on 2011, but Cricket came in just ahead of the buzzer. They have officially launched their first LTE market in Tuscon, Arizona. As expected, Cricket is starting by offering a USB modem rather than a smartphone. The device, the Huawei Boltz, costs $149.99. It will work on both Cricket’s LTE and CDMA networks. The plans come in two tiers, though both allow users to use 5GB per month. The first provides speeds of 3Mbps (think high-end DSL) for $50 per month, or 6Mbps (slightly slower than cable) for $60. If you’re in the Tuscon market you can pick up a modem and a plan at Cricket’s website.
 
Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket launches Huawei Mercury

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In November we learned of the Huawei Glory, a high-end that was set to hit Cricket before year’s end. It features a high-powered 1.4GHz processor, a big 854×480 resolution screen, and an 8-megapixel camera. Today Cricket announced the availability of the phone, now known as the Mercury. Cricket’s best Android smartphone is now available for $249.99, and is available with a $55 plan. You can get the Glory and an unlimited plan at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket launching the Galaxy Tab 10.1

Earlier this year we learned that Cricket planned to begin offering tablets at some point in 2012. Shortly thereafter, though, they decided to back off. This wouldn’t be a typical tablet from a cell carrier, with 3G internet connection. Instead it would be a WiFi-only device that works with Cricket’s mobile broadband service via a portable hotspot. It’s understandable, then, why they backed off; there wasn’t a unique value add. Now it appears they will offer a tablet after all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s available now.
 

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Cricket’s Huawei Ascend II now with Muve Music

All the way back in July Cricket released a mid-range Android handset, the Huawei Ascend II. It’s not much, with a 600MHz processor and a 3.5-inch screen, but at $79.99 it’s hard to argue with the value. That value just got even better: the Ascend II is now compatible with Muve Music. This is available for both new and current customers, so those who already picked up the Ascend can still add the service. Since the Ascend II is an Android handset, it does require the $65 monthly Muve Music plan. You can get an Ascend II or sign up for a plan at Cricket’s website.
 
Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket and Verizon swap spectrum

While yesterday’s news of Cricket potentially buying spectrum from the AT&T/T-Mobile merger was a bit more exciting, today’s news is still beneficial to Cricket. Verizon and Cricket have agreed to swap some spectrum, pending FCC approval. That will allow both companies to expand their networks. Cricket will get spectrum in Chicago that will allow it to offer LTE services. Verizon will get various blocks from across the country that will aid both its EVDO and its LTE services. It sounds like a win-win for these companies, though Cricket clearly benefits from gaining the ability to launch an LTE network in one of the nation’s largest markets.
 
Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket could pick up spectrum from AT&T

In terms of expanding potential business, it’s been a good 18 months for Cricket. They have new distribution deals to go along with their MVNO agreement with Sprint. It essentially allows them to activate lines nationwide, despite owning spectrum in limited markets. Now there is a report that they could gain even more coverage — and customers. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times reports that AT&T is talking to Cricket’s parent, Leap Wireless, about selling “a big piece of T-Mobile’s customer accounts and some of its wireless spectrum.” That could prove a further boon for a fast-growing company.
 

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Cricket launches ZTE Chorus with Muve Music

Cricket has recently released the ZTE Chorus, a low-end Android handset that is compatible with Cricket’s Muve Music service. It’s pretty basic, with a slow 600MHz processor, 3.2-inch touchscreen, and 2-megapixel camera. That said, Muve Music is an increasingly popular services that Cricket has promoted and supported well. It means buying a $55 monthly plan, but at least the phone won’t cost that much. After instant discounts it runs just $40. You can pick up the Chorus with Muve Music at Cricket’s website.
 
Via IntoMobile.

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Cricket expands with Amazon.com deal

It seems that in the past year Cricket has taken significant steps towards a wider distribution. First it was a deal with Sprint, which now allows Cricket to distribute their service on a national level. The latest is another distribution deal, this one with Amazon.com. Amazon has been getting into the wireless game lately, and often offers some of the best deals in the business. Customers can order the Samsung Vitality and the ZTE Score, both Android handsets with Muve Music, now. The Huawei Pillar is also available. Other handsets will become available in the coming weeks, with the full lineup expected to eventually hit Amazon. This quick search will bring up the current Cricket phones available.
 
Via Phone Scoop.

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Huawei announces the Glory


 
We still don’t know when it will hit Cricket, but we know it’s coming relatively soon. Over the summer we learned about the Huawei Glory, a high-end Android handset that was going to hit Cricket in November. Well, it’s now November, and Huawei has made its announcement. It features a 1.4 GHz processor, so you’ll never lack for speed. It’s kinda light with only 512MB of RAM, but otherwise it’s packed to the gills with high-end features, including a 854×480 resolution screen and an 8-megapixel camera (2-megapixel front-facing). There’s no price, of course, but we should see this puppy before year’s end.
 
Via PhoneNews.com.

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Cricket adds international calling options

This morning Cricket announced a set of international calling plans that will benefit both their customers and their friends and families abroad. For $5 per month customers can get a local number in Mexico, which people in Mexico to call them at a local, rather than an international, rate. For $10 customers can add local numbers at 40 other countries around the globe. In addition, Cricket announced two international calling plans. Details after the jump.

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Leap improves year-over-year in Q3

If you scan the business headlines, you might see something about Leap Wireless, parent of Cricket, losing money. That’s one way to look at the issue. The other is to see that they made huge strides in 2011, producing considerably better results than their third quarter in 2011. To wit, they added just 10,000 subscribers, but they lost 200,000 in this period last year. They also reduced churn to 3.8 percent from 5.5 percent. Churn is a key element of any prepaid carrier, and Leap’s reduced churn means a lot for their prospects.
 
At the same time, Leap made an important announcement regarding its future.

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Cricket releases ZTE Memo

Cricket has added to its feature phone lineup with the full-QWERTY ZTE Memo. It’s a very basic messaging phone, featuring a 2.4-inch display above the keyboard, plus a 2-megapixel camera. There’s really not much else to go with this. Again, it works best for heavy messagers who don’t need much in terms of data. You can score one for $99 at Cricket retailers. It should hit the Cricket website soon.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket to release Android-powered feature phone

While Cricket has released a number of Android handsets, including the just-announced Samsung Transfix, they’ve all been of the standard smartphone variety. Their next move will be quite different. The plan, according to senior director of business and product management Sergio Garcia, is to release an Android-powered feature phone. Because Android is a royalty-free operating system, they can use it to keep down handset costs. This will also allow them to offer a low-cost handset compatible with Muve Music that won’t require a $65 monthly plan. Instead the feature phone plan will cost just $55 per month. Cricket plans to release this handset before year’s end, though they are coy about the specifics.
 
Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket introduces Samsung Transfix


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Another Android handset has debuted with Cricket. This is the Samsung Transfix, a slider handset that is pretty solidly mid-range. It features an OK processor at 800MHz and an acceptable screen size at 3.2 inches. If you’re looking for the new new thing, like the Galaxy S II, this won’t be your bag. But it will provide basic Android functions for the right price and without a contract. You can grab one now at Cricket’s website for $180.

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Cricket goes nationwide, adds ZTE Score


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Big news today from Cricket, as they’re taking the next step in nationwide coverage. Last year they announced a 3G roaming partnership with Sprint, which helped fill out their network and provide customers with more coverage. When I spoke to Leap Wireless executives, though, they said that they had no immediate plans to activate accounts nationwide. That is, only people within Cricket’s primary coverage area could activate accounts, though they could use the phones in more parts of the country than previously. Now Cricket has truly expanded. They’ve partnered with Best Buy to offer handsets across the country. That should give it a leg up on smaller rivals, such as MetroPCS. Even more excitingly, Cricket plans to roll out with other retailers as well, including Walmart and Dollar General.
 
They’ve added a new handset as well.
 

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Cricket busy adding smartphone customers

The prospects for Cricket‘s future could be looking up, as the company announced that 60 percent of new customers in July were smartphone customers. That continues a trend the company has realized for a few quarters now, and could lead to more potent growth in the future. Currently, 27 percent of the company’s 5.7 million subscribers use smartphones, and that number could nearly double in the next year. At least, that’s the outlook that Cricket executives publicly hold. The increase in smartphone ownership means greater revenue potential, since smartphone customers spend more per month on service than feature phone users. CEO Doug Hutcheson also said that smartphone users are less likely to leave the carrier, which helps reduce churn and keep subscriber numbers higher. This seems like some good news for Cricket as it closes out its fiscal third quarter.

Via FierceWireless.

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Cricket moving up with Muve Music, Samsung Vitality

It appears that Cricket got the timing right when releasing the Samsung Vitality. We first learned about the Vitality a few weeks ago, and we knew that it would be the first Android handset to carry Cricket’s Muve Music service. Late last week they officially announced the device, and they also had a little surprise to go along with it. They now have over 200,000 subscribers using Muve Music. That might not seem too impressive, but consider that 1) Muve just hit in January and wasn’t nationwide until sometime later in the year, and 2) that constitutes nearly 3 percent of Cricket’s overall seven million subscribers.
 
You you can get the Vitality at Cricket’s website for $179.99. It requires the $65 Android Muve Music Plan.

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Cricket getting Samsung Vitality with Muve Music


Click for larger, but still grainy, image.

If you look close enough at this screen cap, you might notice something about the Samsung Vitality. It looks an awful lot like the Samsung Admire, which recently launched on MetroPCS. We often see Cricket and MetroPCS pick up the same handsets, so this comes with little surprise. Cricket stands out, however, because it is including its Muve Music service with the Vitality. That is, you can download unlimited songs straight to the device and play them whenever. Combined with Google Music, which works swimmingly with Android handsets, and you’ll never be left without tunes. There is no pricing or release date set for the Vitality, but word is that it will require a $65 monthly plan. Is having nearly infinite music worth that price?

Via Phandroid via Engadget.

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Cricket picks up Samsung Comment

Keeping up its steady influx of new handsets, yesterday Cricket announced the Samsung Comment, which you see above. It’s a pretty basic full QWERTY phone, featuring a 1.3 megapixel camera and a music player (with expandable memory). It’s more for big time text message users than anything else — anyone who loves data should get an Android, stat. If this one looks familiar, it’s because Samsung previously released this handset with MetroPCS, under the name Freeform III. You can get the Comment for $89.99 at Cricket’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Leap misses expectations in second quarter

Yesterday we learned that MetroPCS fell short of analyst expectations and its stock took a hit as a result. Now word comes down from competitor Cricket. Their bar was set lower, at just 38,000 subscribers, but they still fell below it. Cricket added 29,000 subscribers in the second quarter, though revenues actually rose and churn dropped. Again, the second quarter is typically slow, and with widespread economic concerns it’s understandable why many cellular carriers are missing expectations. We’ll see how that turns around during the holiday quarters.

Via Reuters.

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Cricket announces Kyocera Luno feature phone

Amid the smartphone frenzy, Cricket is still making sure that customers who need just talk and text still have options. It’s a basic flip phone, featuring a 1-inch external display and a VGA camera. It’s set to do the most basic features, which will come as a breath of fresh air to some. It also comes at a basic price: $59.99. You can grab it with a plan as low as $35 at a retail outlet or at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket expands mobile broadband 3G coverage nationwide

Last year Cricket made a splash by signing a roaming agreement with Sprint. As a regional carrier they need roaming partners so that their customers can use their phones throughout the country, and Sprint provided just that. Yesterday the two companies announced an expansion of that deal to cover mobile broadband services. While Cricket cannot activate service outside of its home areas, and will suspend service for excessive roaming, customers can now get Cricket’s mobile broadband without fear of losing coverage. Unfortunately, this also comes with a rate increase. The plans are now 2.5GB for $45, 5GB for $55, and 7.5GB for $65, or $5 per month more than before. You can get Cricket’s broadband service, and a broadband modem, at Cricket’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket gets Android-powered Huawei Ascend II

Pictured above is the Huawei Ascend II, the follow-up to the original model that launched on Cricket last October. For some reason I thought we had heard advanced word of the Ascend II dropping, but a cursory search reveals no such rumor. In any case, it’s not the highest end Android handset, coming with a 3.5-inch screen, 600MHz processor, and a 5 megapixel camera. It does have Android 2.3, which is the latest version of the operating system for smartphones. The retail price of the phone is $179.99, but you can get it at Cricket’s website for $129.99. You’ll need at least the $55 Android plan. If you want a deal on the original Ascend, it’s down to $109.99.

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Cricket is faster than MetroPCS, and MetroPCS is faster than Cricket

Since I don’t live in a Cricket wireless market, I have not seen the commercial referenced in this Philadelphia Inquirer article. Apparently Cricket tested two phones that both they and MetroPCS sell, the LG Optimus (M and C) and the Huawei Ascend. Unsurprisingly, Cricket came out way ahead when tested in the Philadelphia market. There’s really no dirty trick involved here. Cricket runs on EVDO, while Cricket runs on 1X. For the non-technical, it means that Cricket’s network is necessarily faster than MetroPCS’s. There is one addendum, though: this only applies to comparable phones. MetroPCS does have that whole LTE network thing.

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Cricket to debut LTE network in Tuscon

Cricket‘s LTE plans are almost ready. They mentioned a roll-out later this year, and according to VP of device development Matt Stoiber they’re on track for just that. The first market will be Tuscon, Arizona. Typically roll-out and test markets are smaller ones, so this does make sense. Cricket is taking a different tack than competitor MetroPCS. The latter started with a shoddy phone when it rolled out its LTE network, and didn’t get a real LTE phone until February. Since it already deals in mobile broadband services, Cricket is starting off with an LTE laptop card, the Huawei E397. It will work on both 3G and 4G bands, so Tusconers have nothing to fear. We can expect Cricket to pick up some LTE handsets sometime in 2012.

Via PC Magazine.

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Cricket to get Android-powered Huawei Glory


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It’s still a ways from release, but we learned yesterday that Cricket will carry the Huawei Glory. We’re used to seeing mid-tier handsets from Huawei, such as the Ascend, but this time around it appears to be in the upper tier of Android handsets. It features a powerful 1.4 GHz processor, which means you’ll be blazing through your device. It also includes 2GB of RAM, which makes for an even faster device. At four inches, the screen is also perfect for watching, and streaming, videos. It will run the latest current version of Android, 2.3.3, but will eventually upgrade to the next tier (dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich).

You’ll have to wait until November to get it, but when it arrives it figures to be priced at $299.99 or below. That’s still a good price for a prepaid Android, especially one as powerful as the Glory. This is the perfect handset for Cricket, since it provides high technology for a reasonable price. I have a feeling it will sell quite well.

Via Electronista.

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Cricket adds Samsung Chrono

In a small announcement, Cricket has made available the Samsung Chrono. As you can see from the image above, it’s a basic flip phone that appears 10 years old at first glance. It has a VGA camera, Bluetooth, and a web browser, but not much more. The entry level handset comes with an entry level price, $39.99. You can get the Samsung Chrono at Cricket’s website.

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As expected, Cricket picks up Samsung Indulge

Around the same time that MetroPCS got the Samsung Indulge, its first LTE Android handset, we heard that Cricket would get it, too. Of course, Cricket doesn’t yet have an LTE network, so it was going to be a regular old CDMA version. Yesterday Cricket released the device. It’s the same model as the MetroPCS version, featuring a 1GHz processor, WiFi, a 3 megapixel camera, and Android 2.2. It is easily Cricket’s best handset, and it will really stretch the limits of the company’s $55 Android plan. You can get the Indulge for $329.99 at a Cricket retailer or at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket doesn’t favor an AT&T, T-Mobile merger

In a statement that surprises no one, Leap Wireless, parent of Cricket, spoke out in opposition to AT&T’s pending acquisition of T-Mobile. They go over the major talking points, including the reduced competition and the concentration of power among just two wireless carriers. It is, in essence, a rehash of Sprint’s statement. It’s hard to disagree with them; wireless spectrum is a finite resource, and to have two companies holding the great, great majority of it does not stand to benefit consumers. We’re all hooked on wireless, and so a company or pair of companies that controls that much of the market can basically do anything they want.

A statement from Leap’s CEO Doug Hutcheson after the break.

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On way Cricket and MetroPCS could benefit from the AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Any time two cellular providers merge, the issue of what to do with their common assets arises. That is, because of anti-trust laws these companies have to surrender spectrum in areas where they combine to own a certain percentage of the spectrum. They have to divest portions of spectrum in those markets, which opens up opportunities for other carriers. While Verizon will likely swoop in for everything they can get — remember, AT&T picked up plenty of spectrum when Verizon acquired Alltel — both MetroPCS and Cricket could also gain spectrum. That’s a bit of good news amid the situation, which is still undergoing regulatory scrutiny.

Via FierceWireless.

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Leap doesn’t continue trend of big prepaid gains

While its rivals added huge numbers of subscribers, it turns out that Leap Wireless, parent of Cricket, lagged behind the group. They added just 330,574 subscribers, less than half the number of rival MetroPCS and more than 100,000 less than they added in the first quarter of 2010. There were some positives, though, including a 3.1 percent churn rate, which was only 2.8 percent for voice customers (the difference is attributable to broadband). They say that’s their best mark in quite a long time, and we do know that low churn rate is key to growth. With the second and third quarters representing typically slow periods for the wireless industry, we might have to wait a few months to see Cricket make its turnaround.

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Cricket now offers Muve Music in all markets

After a gradual roll-out, which included Houston last week,Cricket has finally introduced its Muve Music plan to all markets that can access Cricket service. For $55 per month any Cricket customer can download unlimited songs to their phones. The songs are stored on a special SD card, and cannot be removed from the phone. Currently, the service is only available on the Samsung Suede. The next step, then, is to make it available on other handsets. If combined with an Android handset, Muve Music could make even bigger waves. For those interested in the service now, you can get more information and sign up at Cricket’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Cricket’s Muve Music now in 48 markets

It was slow getting off the ground, but Cricket‘s new plan, Muve Music, has expanded to 48 markets. This includes a large expansion earlier this month, with the addition of Houston today. For those still unfamiliar, the plan costs $55 per month and includes unlimited music downloads right to the handset. The songs are stored on a special microSD card, and cannot be played anywhere but on the phone. The plan also includes unlimited calling, messaging, 3G mobile web, email, and more. It is currently only available with the Samsung Suede, a handset that costs $129. You can get more information about Muve Music and sign up for a plan at Cricket’s website.

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Leap will have LTE in 2011, but no devices until 2012

We learned previously that Cricket plans to keep up with the competition and launch an LTE network in 2011. That’s all fine and good, but their customers probably won’t notice it until 2012. Phil Goldstein of FierceWireless relays some quotes from Leap Wireless CEO Doug Hutcheson, who indicates that his company will not release any actual LTE devices until 2012. This is similar to what MetroPCS did. They launched LTE last year, with only one handset, the poorly received Samsung Craft, available. Not until this year did they release an actual LTE smartphone, and even then they think that 2012 is their big year. Leap is just skipping the inadequate test handset part and waiting for the big move for LTE in 2012.

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Meet Cricket’s first tablet


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Pictured above is the first tablet to hit Cricket wireless. It’s from a company called Anydata, which might not ring any bells, even with gadget aficionados. Yet it might be a boon to Cricket users looking to get into the tablet game. The as-of-now nameless tablet features a 1.2GHz processor, which is impressive in itself. It’s a seven-incher, so that makes it around the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Functionally it runs Android versions 2.3, Gingerbread, though Anydata says it is working with Google on a Honeycomb versions (which is their tablet-specific operating system). More after the jump.

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Cricket to get CDMA Samsung Indulge

If that handset looks familiar, it’s because MetroPCS just released it. The Samsung Indulge was the company’s first LTE smartphone (not to be confused with the Samsung Craft, which decidedly was not a smartphone), which they released last month. Cricket doesn’t have an LTE network, yet it is getting its own version of the Indulge. It will run on Cricket’s CDMA network, as you might have expected. That will be the expensive one, checking in at around $350. The company also showed off the Huawei Ascend 2, which will be a bit cheaper at around $150. Cricket will release both of these models in the second quarter, which starts in just a couple of weeks.

Make sure to check out Engadget’s gallery of the Ascend 2 and the Indulge.

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Cricket signs agreement with Lightsquared for LTE

Unlike its strongest rival, MetroPCS, Cricket is taking it slow on the 4G LTE front. We learned that they’ll build out a network and will roll out in test markets by the end of 2011. Even then, as we learned with Metro, it will take time to roll out to each market. Furthermore, they can’t cover markets where they don’t have spectrum. That’s where Lightsquared comes into play. We’ve seen them before, in connection with MetroPCS. They provide wholesale access to LTE services, which they complement with satellite coverage. The agreement should allow Cricket to build a fuller LTE network. Hopefully this news means that Cricket will be rolling out 4G relatively soon. They’ve got plenty of competition ahead of them.

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Cricket picks up Optimus C

A week ago we learned that Cricket would launch the Optimus C Android handset in just a few days. The target date was Thursday, but I hadn’t seen anything about it being available. But when I woke up this morning, I saw the headline on Engadget. The device is out now and available for Cricket customers. It features a 600MHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and Android 2.2. The device will cost you $179.99 up front, after a $20 web discount. There is also a $50 mail-in rebate, so the final price is $129.99. The Optimus C also requires a $55/month plan. You can get the Optimus C at Cricket’s website.

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Cricket follows SXSW with Muve Music in Austin

Cricket has been rolling out its Muve Music product to its markets lately, and today it made a strategic deployment. The South by Southwest conference is in full effect this week, down in Austin, Texas. That makes 14 markets. The plan still requires the Samsung Suede and a $55 monthly plan. Austin residents can get the handset and service at a retail outlet or Cricket’s website.

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Cricket to get LG Optimus C this week

There has been something of a rush of Android handsets to prepaid carriers, and Cricket has been among the more aggressive. This week they’re getting another Android, the Optimus C. This is part of the Optimus One series, which Virgin Mobile has with the Optimus V and MetroPCS has with the Optimus M. That probably pegs the price around $199.99. The device features a 3.2 inch touchscreen, Android 2.2, and other mid-level features. Look for it on Thursday the 17th.

Via PhoneNews.com

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Verizon iPhone working on Cricket?

If you ever pop into the Cricket forum on Howard Forums, you might see talk about various CDMA smartphones running on Cricket. They don’t advertise it, and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly through third-party retailers, but you can indeed flash some CDMA smartphones to Cricket’s network. It was inevitable, then, that the iPhone would become a priority. Via Engadget, we learn that it is possible right now. You need to jailbreak the phone, install certain software, and then have a Cricket dealer flash it for you. That will probably be too much for most users, but if you’re interested there is a process. There’s a video after the break.

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