Sep 22 AT 1:56 PM Dustin Earley 13 Comments

Cricket leaps at chance to take services nationwide

Cricket Map

Announced through a series of press releases today, Leap Wireless (parent company of Cricket) will be taking the Cricket name nationwide.

Currently available in 35 states, with some 5.7 million customers under their belt, Cricket phones and service plans will soon be available in new markets starting September 25. The expansion comes from the help of a roaming agreement with Sprint and retail partnerships with Best Buy, Walmart, Dollar General and HSN. Doug Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer for Leap, is excited to see the expansion in service go live.

This is a significant milestone in the plans we announced last year to create a new, hybrid wholesale and facilities-based model that is unique in the wireless industry. We are excited to bring Cricket’s innovative wireless products to a large group of consumers who until now have not been able to take advantage of the tremendous value these products provide. Doug HutchesonLeap Wireless

“Tremendous value” is a common theme with Cricket’s wireless service. Much like MetroPCS, Virgin and Boost Mobile, Cricket is yet another smaller carrier that places a strong emphasis on value plans and devices. Android phones start out at just $99, with plans at around $55. The only problem with this is you get what your pay for. A $99 Android phone clearly isn’t going to be the best of the best, but will it suffice?

That question is important to consider when it comes to prepaid regional carrier pricing versus plans from the big four. Data plans on Sprint and T-Mobile start out at around $60 to $70 dollars. Is saving $5 to $15 dollars a month worth it for Nexus devices and dual-core smartphones? When the devices available on Cricket’s $55 plan still rock Froyo, 1100mAh batteries and 256 MB of RAM, it’s hard not to say “yes.”

Of course as time goes on, the devices available from these smaller carriers continue to get better. And Cricket going nationwide will only help them secure better devices. The upcoming Muve Music compatible ZTE Score and Samsung Vitality do come with Gingerbread, but also feature a 600 and 800 MHz processor respectively. It’s all about what works best for you.

Show Press Release
Leap Announces Expanded Availability of Cricket Products and Services

Through Key National Retail Outlets

~ Culmination of Strategic Expansion Plan Company Announced Last Year~

SAN DIEGO – September 22, 2011 – Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), the parent company of Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless communications services, announced a major retail expansion today that will result in Cricket products and services being available to consumers nationwide. During the next two months, Cricket’s innovative products and services will be launched in key major retailers including Best Buy, select Walmart locations, Dollar General and through one of America’s most popular interactive multi-channel retailers, HSN. Today’s announcement takes advantage of Leap’s wholesale agreement with Sprint that is expected to support the Company’s goal of establishing Cricket as the national value leader in the rapidly expanding prepaid wireless segment.

“This is a significant milestone in the plans we announced last year to create a new, hybrid wholesale and facilities-based model that is unique in the wireless industry,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer for Leap. “We are excited to bring Cricket’s innovative wireless products to a large group of consumers who until now have not been able to take advantage of the tremendous value these products provide. In addition, we’re happy to bring Muve Music, our fast-growing music service designed specifically for the mobile phone, to music lovers, especially as we near the important holiday season.”

Cricket began providing wireless services in 1999 and now serves approximately 5.7 million customers in the 35 states where it has built and operates its own networks and a network of company owned retail stores and independent dealers. Under the unique wholesale roaming agreement announced last year, the company will, over the next two months, roll-out Cricket products and services to customers across additional markets in the 35 states it currently serves as well as into new markets. Cricket products will be available in more than 11,500 locations once the new retail expansion is complete.

“This move greatly expands the scope of our business and we believe this and other initiatives the Company has previously initiated will further the momentum we are seeing in voice customer growth and increased penetration and keep us on a trajectory of growth,” continued Hutcheson.

Cricket products and services will be available in more than 1,300 Best Buy stores nationwide beginning September 25. A wide range of devices and service plans will be available to national retail customers and further announcements will be made soon regarding Cricket’s availability in the other retailers announced today.

About Leap
Leap provides innovative, high-value wireless services to a fast-growing, young and ethnically diverse customer base. With the value of unlimited wireless services as the foundation of its business, Leap pioneered its Cricket service. Cricket products and services are available nationwide through company-owned stores, dealers and national retailers. Through its affordable, flat-rate service plans, Cricket offers customers a choice of unlimited voice, text, data and mobile Web services. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Leap is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “LEAP.” For more information, please visit www.leapwireless.com.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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