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  • AT&T Acquires Cricket Wireless (Leap)

    In a move announced on Friday 7/12/2013 AT&T announced that they would be acquiring Leap Wireless. Leap is the parent company of Cricket Wireless and the topic of this forum. They came to the cell phone scene in the US in March of 1999 and expanded to its current state where it provides high speed LTE access in a number of areas.

    This acquisition could leave AT&T with some CDMA spectrum and maybe more importantly AWS spectrum. This AWS spectrum could be considered valuable to MetroPCS / T-mobile which already owns some.

    All talk at this point is mainly speculation. We have much to learn, however it was stated that Cricket Wireless would continue to operate independently for the time being. Worried that you will be forced into a contract? I'm not so sure this will happen as Cricket has never had this business model. Doing so would be a recipe for driving it into the ground directly after obtaining it. AT&T does have prepaid business models already established. Their GoPhone services and new prepaid carrier AIO Wireless are shining examples of it.

    How much will the tab be to swallow Leap Wireless. Well it appears 1.2 billion might be the magical number.

    Below is a copy of a letter received by a number of Cricket Wireless dealers today (courtesy of Arkie):

    --------------------

    Dear Valued Cricket Dealer Partner;

    Because of our important relationship, I wanted to write you about the news we
    announced today that AT&T will be acquiring Cricket. We are very excited about the acquisition and believe it will significantly strengthen our ability to win in the marketplace and enable you to further grow your business. We believe this transaction provides tremendous opportunities to offer our customers an enhanced customer experience, including greater access to high-quality wireless services and a wider selection of affordable devices.

    Importantly, AT&T will retain the Cricket brand name, utilize all of our distribution channels and expand Cricketís presence to additional U.S. cities. As Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T said to all Cricket employees today, ďThis announcement is all about long-term growth and expansion of the Cricket business.Ē AT&T will also provide our customers with access to its 4G LTE network. The result will be increased competition, better device choices, improved customer care and a significantly enhanced mobile Internet experience for consumers seeking affordable, value-rich no-contract wireless products and services.

    The combined company will have the financial resources, scale and spectrum to more aggressively compete for customers interested in affordable, prepaid service. As AT&T said today in the press release, ďCricketís employees, operations and distribution will jump start AT&Tís expansion in the highly competitive prepaid segment.Ē

    Until the transaction closes, Cricket will continue to operate as an independent company. Todayís announcement will have no immediate impact on our day-to-day operations, and it remains business as usual at Cricket. In particular, we are moving ahead as planned with the launch of our new disruptive, game-changing phone payment plan on July 21. Next week you will start to see publicity and public relations activity supporting that launch, with the full advertising and media campaign starting on July 29.

    Your Cricket team and I will maintain close collaboration with you in the months to come to ensure that you are kept current on the transaction. Thank you for the great work you are doing to improve the Customer Experience and customer survival, and for your focus on the Big 4 initiatives to grow our business together. We look forward to further communication with you as we move forward.

    Sincerely,

    JERRY ELLIOTT | PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

    --------------------

    For continued coverage of these events, please follow the forum, Facebook, and our Youtube channel.

    Author:

    Chris Rodriguez is the creator of Cricket Users and can be found on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cricket Acquired by AT&T started by ArkieKDealer View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. wiseoldman's Avatar
      wiseoldman -
      The end is near.

      sent from SP's vanilla 1.1 ROM
    1. reggjoo's Avatar
      reggjoo -
      You are so right, at&t will be nice for a little while, to keep cricket's customers, then slowly, when they get total control, will put the smack down on cricket's customers. Cricket should have warned us, said something, just left us in the dark. I hope there's some type of antitrust issue, and somehow, the deal falls thru. I'm so glad there's no cricket name on my phone, just alcatel. They sold us out.
    1. alexmo4less's Avatar
      alexmo4less -
      What are you complaining about? This is good for Cricket, at least according to their supposed gameplan. Worst case scenario, they don't do what they say and it ends up affecting Cricket in a bad way, guess what you do? Leave, you're not on a contract. Here come the conspiracy theorists saying "were fucked! AT&T is gonna screw us!" Lmao
    1. moryantswife's Avatar
      moryantswife -
      Hmm maybe that's a good thing. I live just across Mex border . I get service for a short distance from the border then its gone. At&t has towers all over in Mexico so maybe my service will work in more places
    1. Stephen Proffitt's Avatar
      Stephen Proffitt -
      I have serious mixed emotions about this. While we may get LTE and things like that faster, it will have its downside of eventually shutting down the CDMA network like T-Mobile is doing with MetroPCS in 2015. Those of us who bought the GS4 won't want to upgrade again so soon to a GSM GS5 or 6 yet. Unless they do something similar to Straight Talk and run both types many of us will leave.

      Also this is going to destroy any remaining phone flashing business we may have left.

      Sent from my SCH-R970C using Tapatalk 2
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      It's really hard to tell at this point what strategy AT&T will use with Cricket. They obviously can gain from the spectrum they would acquire. Beyond that it is speculation. As things progress, I'll talk more about AT&T's current assets and prepaid services (GoPhone / AIO).

      Thanks for posting this document ArkieK.
    1. Phil Priser's Avatar
      Phil Priser -
      Smells like bullshit to me. I'll see what my contact in Cricket Corporate has to say.
    1. gregm412's Avatar
      gregm412 -
      I see the end of the phone flashing era.
    1. sonasam300's Avatar
      sonasam300 -
      It seems like a good thing as a rough draft on paper without all the details. But att? I don't know! Mixed emotions as well. I've always viewed att as the enemy....the Goliath to our David... No more sling shots!

      Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk 2
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      This is interesting how quickly everything materialized. AT&T seemed anxious to acquire someone after Tmobile. There were rumors about Dish picking up Leap as well after their failed bid with Sprint.

      If they continued to operate Cricket in its current form, that would mean they'd have to build their CDMA infrastructure, migrate to GSM, or keep on paying Sprint for use of their assets.

      Just received the e-mail below. Cricket is still carrying out normal day to day operations even if it means comparing themselves with AT&T :-). Of course I'm not surprised. This deal is far from closed.

      Attachment 4395
    1. alexmo4less's Avatar
      alexmo4less -
      If Cricket stays as CDMA, I'm not following how this could "potentially end flashing". Seeing as how we can only flash CDMA phones (Sprint, Verizon etc), flashing would be in AT&Ts best interests as we're taking these devices off their direct competitors networks. Is there something IM missing or does nobody see what I see?
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      I think the majority of customers are being very negative at this point. What you stated is a very valid point. Hopefully someone there already knows that GSM unlocking / phone flashing is similar when it comes to the end result.
    1. reggjoo's Avatar
      reggjoo -
      I hope they keep the cdma net, I think my radio, in my phone, is a
      gsm, converted to cdma thru software tricks. If so, I'll be alright. If not, yes, it's time to move on. I don't want to get another phone right now, and will find another net, that this can use.
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      Here is the official press release from AT&T. It was found directly on their site @ AT&T to Acquire Leap Wireless

      AT&T to Acquire Leap Wireless

      San Diego, California, Dallas, Texas, July 12, 2013

      Share:

      Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California, July 12, 2013 Ė AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP) have entered into an agreement for AT&T to acquire Leap for $15 per share in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Leapís stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 5 million subscribers. As of April 15, 2013, Leap had $2.8 billion of net debt. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leapís 700 Mhz ďA BlockĒ spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

      Leapís network covers approximately 96 million people in 35 U.S. states. Leap currently operates -- under the Cricket brand -- a 3G CDMA network, as well as a 4G LTE network covering 21 million people in these areas, and has 3,400 employees.

      AT&T will retain the Cricket brand name, provide Cricket customers with access to AT&Tís award-winning 4G LTE mobile network, utilize Cricketís distribution channels, and expand Cricketís presence to additional U.S. cities. The result will be increased competition, better device choices, improved customer care and a significantly enhanced mobile Internet experience for consumers seeking low-cost prepaid wireless plans.

      The combined company will have the financial resources, scale and spectrum to better compete with other major national providers for customers interested in low-cost prepaid service. Cricketís employees, operations and distribution will jump start AT&Tís expansion into the highly competitive prepaid segment.

      The acquisition includes spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands covering 137 million people and is largely complementary to AT&Tís existing spectrum licenses. Immediately after approval of the transaction, AT&T plans to put Leapís unutilized spectrum Ė which covers 41 million people Ė to use in furthering its 4G LTE deployment and providing additional capacity and enhanced network performance for customersí growing mobile Internet usage.

      Owners of approximately 29.8% of Leapís outstanding shares have entered into an agreement to vote in favor of the transaction.

      The transaction is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and to other customary closing conditions. AT&T expects the transaction to close in six to nine months.

      Additional Information and Where to Find It

      This communication may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the proposed acquisition of Leap by AT&T. In connection with the proposed acquisition, Leap and AT&T intend to file relevant materials with the SEC, including Leapís proxy statement on Schedule 14A. STOCKHOLDERS OF LEAP ARE URGED TO READ ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, INCLUDING LEAPíS PROXY STATEMENT, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain the documents free of charge at the SECís web site, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission | Homepage, and Leapís stockholders will receive information at an appropriate time on how to obtain transaction-related documents for free from Leap. Such documents are not currently available.

      Participants in Solicitation

      AT&T and its directors and executive officers, and Leap and its directors and executive officers, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the holders of Leap common stock in respect of the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of AT&T is set forth in the proxy statement for AT&Tís 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on March 11, 2013. Information about the directors and executive officers of Leap is set forth in the proxy statement for Leapís 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 30, 2013. Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interest of such participants by reading the proxy statement regarding the acquisition when it becomes available.

      *AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

      About AT&T

      AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates Ė AT&T operating companies Ė are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nationís largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseģ and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The companyís suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

      Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available atAT&T Wireless and Corporate News, Information or follow our news on @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube atAT&T - YouTube.

      © 2013 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 4G not available everywhere. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

      About Leap

      Leap provides innovative, high-value wireless services to a fast-growing, young and ethnically diverse customer base. With the value of unlimited wireless services as the foundation of its business, Leap pioneered its Cricket service. Cricket products and services are available nationwide through company-owned stores, dealers, national retailers and at MyCricket.com. Through its affordable, flat-rate service plans, Cricket offers customers a choice of unlimited voice, text, data and mobile Web services. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Leap is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "LEAP." For more information, please visit Wireless Phone Services | Wireless Communications | Leap Wireless.

      Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

      Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements, including statements as to the expected timing, completion and effects of the proposed transaction that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. The companies may not be able to complete the proposed transaction on the terms described above or other acceptable terms or at all because of a number of factors, including (1) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement, (2) the failure to obtain stockholder approval or the failure to satisfy the closing conditions, (3) the failure to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals on conditions permissible under the Merger Agreement, (4) risks related to disruption of managementís attention from Leapís ongoing business operations due to the transaction and (5) the effect of the announcement of the Merger on the ability of Leap to retain customers and retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with its suppliers, operating results and business generally. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's and Leapís filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T and Leap each disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
    1. ArkieKDealer's Avatar
      ArkieKDealer -
      I have to believe it could be a good thing long term. ATT is already the underlying carrier for H20, Net10, StraightTalk, Aio, and many other MVNOs so it's not like they aren't already in the prepaid market.

      Cricket's coverage area will also dramatically expand as 4G compatible phones become available.

      Phone flashing was going away any way as phones switch to 4G LTE technology.
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      Maybe CDMA phones will go through the same unlocking as GSM phones in the future.
    1. markheld's Avatar
      markheld -
      Positive or Negative impact for Cricket Users?


      "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
      The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go - YouTube
    1. djisia402's Avatar
      djisia402 -
      hopefully BiG Guys will approve unlocking GSm phones .... next 6-9 months
    1. computerkidt's Avatar
      computerkidt -
      i just got done saving up for a while to be able to get the gs4 before i knew that was what i was goin to spend it on. Ill be super pissed if i cant use my cdma gs4 or somehow change the radio or w/e to gsm if AT&T gets rid of cdma on cricket. tho ill be super happy if they keep cdma and get LTE in chicago for cricket :P
    1. wiseoldman's Avatar
      wiseoldman -
      Well, some of my opinions or predictions... It's not good business sense to suddenly drop CDMA. CDMA and CDMA phones will still be in the pipeline for a few years or more. There is too much infrastructure in place to abandon it(right away).

      If ATT & the industry considered CDMA as becoming an obsolete or costly system, then ATT would just let CDMA die a slow death in a few years. I could see ATT having Cricket Stores offer both GSM and CDMA for while, then a few years later dropping CDMA and letting customers transfer over to GSM with new phones and plans. Thats just one possibility.

      ATT could be dividing up their "new business" and selling off parts of it over the years. Since the parts are worth more than the whole. Then ATT would absorb cricket customers into the "ATT system". Just another possibility.

      Maybe they see CDMA as a viable competitor in a certain market and they want to expand that. Also, maybe Cricket was heading south and ATT could not pass up the bargain price and it met their low end expansion goals. Just more possibilities.

      I will be curious to see if the Cricket/ATT help line will be any better. Or see what they offer to help Cricket Dealers/Sellers. And will Cricket/ATT become bullies and try harassing CricketUsers.com?
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