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]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Now my cricket service will start to suck!

    1. Doesn’t it already?

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

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

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

  2. Another unlimited down the drain…

    1. 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.

  3. >>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.

    1. I imagine its at&ts choice

      1. 12 months it is, then.

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

  5. MA bell

  6. 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!

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