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AT&T Completes Acquisition of Cricket. Here's What It Means For Cricket and Aio Customers


The FCC approved AT&T's $1.2 billion acquisition of Cricket Communications' parent company Leap Wireless yesterday. To secure approval AT&T had to agree to some minor concessions: 
  • AT&T must divest some spectrum in 12 markets. 
  • AT&T must let Cricket users keep their current plans until they either upgrade their phone, switch plans or AT&T shuts down the Cricket CDMA network. 
  • AT&T is required to offer a $40/month unlimited talk and text plus 500 MB of data feature phone plan to current Cricket subscribers for 18 months.
Banners announcing the deal appeared on the Aio and Cricket Website's homepages today. Clicking the banners takes you to a page telling users that changes are coming but for now it's business as usual. Aio and Cricket users should continue to use their respective stores and web sites for payments and plan changes. Cricket CDMA users will continue to have no extra cost roaming on Sprint until the Cricket CDMA network is shut down.

But changes are coming. Soon Aio stores will be rebranded as Cricket stores and legacy Cricket stores will begin offering GSM phones that use the AT&T network.

Other than the name change, Aio customers aren't supposed to be affected.

AT&T plans to shut down the Cricket CDMA network in 12-18 months. When that happens Cricket customers will be able to keep their phone numbers but will need a new phone. Well before the CDMA network is shut down, I expect AT&T to begin offering Cricket customers discounts and other incentives to switch to a GSM phone. Those who hold out long enough will probably get free basic phones.

AT&T has said that acquiring Cricket will make it a more aggressive competitor in the prepaid market. I hope so, however today Aio ended a long running online phone sale effectively raising the prices of most models. For example; the Samsung Galaxy Amp which went from to $49.99 to $129.99, the Lumia 520 from $69.99 to $99.99 and the Moto G from $99.99 to $149.99. Coincidence or not?

Sources:  FCCFierceWireless

Related:
After the Acquisition of Leap Wireless, AT&T Will Combine Aio and Cricket Under the Cricket Brand
AT&T to Acquire Cricket Prepaid Brand

8 comments:

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  1. Total waste of money with AIO, att had. Who are these people that are running AIO. In my city you see billboards, radio and tv commercials every where and now they are going to be Cricket, hahah what a waste of money for att. They should have just waitted and start strong with the Cricket name from the get go.

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  2. Will GoPhone continue on , or become Cricket as well.

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    1. Sorry Dennis Bournique, but it most likely will happen with GoPhone also being merged right on in with NewCricketWireless My friend!! :)

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  3. From a business standpoint AIO may have loss money initially but they now have tons of customers that were taken away from att MVNOs. Customers that wouldn't or couldn't go to GoPhone: iPhone users wanting mms, smart phones on cheaper plans, high data plans 7gb, etc. They would've loss more waiting for the cricket approval. The changes in signs and logos (tax write off) is pittance.

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  4. A rep stated that go phone is being combined with cricket as well.

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    Replies
    1. Possible, but I doubt that will happen. Customer service reps are usually the last to be told about corporate strategy changes.

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  5. Got a text with a link a few mins ago. Seems like merger is complete: http://merger-info.aiowireless.com/aio.html

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