AT&T Closes Acquisition of Leap Wireless
AT&T today announced that it has closed its proposed acquisition of Leap Wireless. The transaction was just approved by the Federal Communications Commission this afternoon, though AT&T and Leap's boards had already approved the deal months ago. According to AT&T, Cricket will be integrated with AT&T's existing operations over the coming weeks to create "the new Cricket." AT&T is promising to shake up the no-contract market with low-cost plans, strong devices, and an expanded network. The new Cricket will take advantage of AT&T's LTE 4G network rather than Cricket's CDMA network. AT&T expects Cricket's 4.6 million customers to fully migrate to its devices and network within 18 months. In addition to acquiring Cricket's customers, AT&T landed PCS and AWS spectrum licenses that it calls "largely complementary" to its existing holdings. Some of the Cricket spectrum covers approximately 41 million people and is completely unused. AT&T will begin using this spectrum for LTE as soon as possible to provide additional capacity to its 4G network. AT&T said the deal's closing will impact its first-quarter financials. It will detail how much when it reports first-quarter earnings in April.
Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom Goes On Sale for $329
Asus today made the ZenFone 3 Zoom available from its web site for $329. The phone was first announced in January.
Cricket's CDMA Network Goes Dark September 15
Cricket Wireless says the vast majority of customers have transitioned away from its legacy CDMA network ahead of tomorrow's planned shutdown. AT&T has been moving Cricket customers from the older CDMA network to its own GSM-based network since it acquired the carrier several years ago.
AT&T's Cricket Brand to Cut Off Lifeline Service
AT&T recently indicated via its support web site that it will eventually discontinue offering Lifelife service through its Cricket prepaid brand. Lifeline allows qualified Americans to receive free or heavily discounted wireless service through Cricket.
Cricket Debuts Unlimited Plan for $70
Cricket Wireless today announced a new service plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and LTE data for $70 per month. That price includes all taxes and fees.