Engadget has published some leaked screenshots that seem to indicate that RadioShack launching their own mobile network on Sept 5th. The images show an online ad for an HTC One V Android phone for "RadioShack Mobile". A different image calls the service "RadioShack No Contract Wireless". There's no mention of phone pricing in the images but they do promise a choice of plans and mention a $25/month plan.
The HTC One V is a Virgin Mobile phone. However the activation phone number in one of the screenshots belongs to Cricket, which Engadget thinks means that RadioShack Mobile will be a Cricket MVNO.
The Cricket connection sort of makes sense, technically at least. Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint and both Cricket and Sprint are CDMA carriers. In areas where it doesn't have its own network, Cricket acts as a Sprint MVNO reselling the Now Network's service. The problem is that, according to published specs, the One V doesn't support the AWS spectrum that Cricket's network uses in many areas. The unnamed source of the images told Engadget that Radio Shack Mobile would also offer the full line of Cricket phones, all of which do support AWS.
The thing that puzzles me most is why RadioShack would partner with Cricket. Leap Wireless, Cricket's parent company has lost money in every quarter for the last six years, has 2.7 billion in debt and is reporting that it will miss a required payment to Sprint for network services this year. At least one financial analyst believes that Leap is on the verge of being acquired. You would think that RadioShack would partner with a more financially stable network operator.
Perhaps Radio Shack is buying wireless service directly from Sprint and just using Cricket for back office services like activation and billing. If Leap is sold, Sprint is on the short list of likely purchasers. So Radio Shack could end up dealing directly with Sprint.
Source: Engadget via Prepaid Reviews