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AT&T Says It Will Be 'Disruptive' With Cricket

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Mar 6, 2014, 1:05 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today said the company expects to close its acquisition of Leap Wireless by the end of the month, and that it will use the pre-paid carrier's brand to shake things up. "We're going to be fairly aggressive [there]," said Stephenson, to "see if we can be a little disruptive down at that end of the market." Stephenson made the remarks at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. He explained that though Cricket has a strong brand, potential customers often avoid it due to its limited network coverage. Once AT&T acquires Cricket, that story will change. "All of a sudden overnight, Cricket is going to have nationwide coverage," he said. AT&T didn't announce any specific plans regarding Cricket. Stephenson also noted that the AT&T Next program, which lets customers pay for their devices over time, has become very popular. By the end of December, 20% of new device sales were being financed through AT&T Next rather than subsidized with a standard two-year contract.

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Mar 10, 2014, 2:41 PM


That's funny. I'm not the most up-to-date on ATT's network, but I'm pretty sure they don't have VOLTE working nationwide. It's going to be kind of hard to just flip a switch where millions of CDMA phones suddenly do their voice calling over a GSM network. And even if they do have blanket VOLTE coverage across the US, I seriously doubt that most cricket phones support it. I imagine that in 3 or 4 years they can have Cricket's customers all migrated over to their network, but that's hardly overnight.

Mar 7, 2014, 2:37 PM

If they really wanted to disrupt the low end market...

they would unlock the millions of att phones out there for people for a fee.

$20 or $30 then they wouldn't be forcing people to break the law (class action anyone?) and they could make more profit in one lick than they are throughout the entire year of an AIO line.
How would that make them money. They lose money everytime they sell one of those phones.

Mar 6, 2014, 6:47 PM

By disruptive....

He means competing with Straight Talk/TracFone for that $45/month plan. It would be nice if they went REALLY disruptive and did something like $10/mo for Calls/Texts and $20/mo with a gig of (3g even) data.
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