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Radio Shack Rumored to be Partnering With Cricket to Launch MVNO

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
Images: Engadget


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  1. Sprint's board will NOT let Dan Hesse buy anything unless its totally free, they still remember the disastrous Nextel acquisition. A few months ago they vetoed the purchase of MetroPCS.

    1. i'm pretty sure that me and yeswap disagree with you. yea sprint's board did not acquire metro pcs but metro pcs has 3million more customers than cricket and it's worth more profit wise. metro pcs wanted 8billion which was too much for sprint's board but cricket would be less valuable and as yeswap mentioned they have 2.7billion in debt which would make them even less valuable. plus he stated that they would miss a payment to sprint for using their network where cricket has no coverage. hhhmm makes you wonder is sprint working on a deal with leap to acquire cricket! if sprint could get cricket for around 4to5billion i would think sprint's board would approve the deal. sprint could run cricket just like it runs boost and virgin mobile independently on their nationwide network. and then use the extra cricket spectrum to build out their 3g cdma and lte networks. you can't compare this to them buying nextel they paid over 30billion for nextel and would only pay like around 5billion for cricket plus nextel used iden sim based network, whereas cricket is cdma just like sprint so it will be a way smoother integration.

    2. Every deal is different. I think there's a good chance Sprint will wind up with all or part of Cricket. Of course, I thought the Sprint MetroPCS deal would go through too.

  2. radio shack is partnering with Virgin Mobile...Iphone 4S at 649$/30$ a month...."unlimited data"....

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