FCC gives AT&T the green light on purchase of Leap Wireless (Cricket)

ATT map 4G LTE

After announcing their plans back in July to purchase Leap Wireless (also known by their subsidiary, Cricket) for $1.19 billion, AT&T’s deal has finally been given the FCC’s seal of approval. The deal doesn’t go completely unchecked, with AT&T agreeing to specific terms and conditions in order to gain access to Leap’s 5 million subscribers.

First off, AT&T will need to share some of their valuable spectrum with competitors in select markets. To ensure Cricket customers also get a little love, AT&T had to promise to deploy LTE service using Cricket’s unused spectrum within “90 days or 12 months” of closing the deal.

AT&T has also agreed to offer new lower-rate plans meant to target Cricket’s “value-conscious” customers (not everyone can afford AT&T’s higher rates). For areas where Leap Wireless’ CDMA network will be discontinued, AT&T will come up with device trade-in programs to ensure Cricket customers aren’t left high-and-dry without wireless service.

The FCC will also be keeping tabs on AT&T, requiring quarterly reports on the status of Leap Wireless customers (as well as all the commitments mentioned above) in order to ensure AT&T is keeping up with their end of the deal.

When all is said and done, AT&T will walk away with an even stronger network in larger markets, while Cricket customers gain access to AT&T’s superior 4G LTE footprint in more areas. Sounds like a win/win, right?

[FCC | via The Verge]

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TAGS: Leap Wireless

  • Sam

    Now my cricket service will start to suck!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Doesn’t it already?

      Also, according to the FCC, you’ll get more LTEs in more places (eventually).

    • IVHorseMen

      You know AT&T has better coverage than Cricket, yes?

    • WhoaManWtF

      That’s an odd thing to take away from this, my AT&T service is great.

  • Bret Lebeck

    Another unlimited down the drain…

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      It’s sad when a new/little kid on the block gets muscled out anywhere, especially in regards to wireless providers that give you decent service, freedom and low rates.

  • Kevin Vesga

    >>AT&T had to promise to deploy LTE service using Cricket’s unused spectrum within “90 days or 12 months” of closing the deal.

    So which is it, 90 days or 12 months? They’re two different periods of time.

    • JBrowne1012

      I imagine its at&ts choice

      • kwaping

        12 months it is, then.

  • lynyrd65

    Did they have to divest the Chicago 700mhz A-Block license to T-Mobile?

  • blest

    MA bell

  • Ethan Timothy

    I like having cricket in my Verizon device playground, and so do a ton of people I know. Oh well, today is officially a sad day. Cricket has been absorbed by the borg.
    ….. Oh wait! I don’t care cause I’m jumping ship to T Mobile anyways!