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  1. #1
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    Lifeline Program Through Cricket Wireless to be Terminated

    I'm not sure how many Lifeline users are here in this forum, but if you didn't know the service will be terminated (through Cricket at last) next year.

    There are probably several reasons behind this, but anything I say would be purely speculation. From what I've been told, a carrier has to win this contract.


    Fierce Wireless

    AT&T Mobility's (
    NYSE: T


    ) Cricket prepaid brand is planning to phase out its support for the government's Lifeline service. The company said it will continue to support its existing Lifeline customers on CDMA phones for the next 18 months or so, and that it will not sign up any new Lifeline customers on Cricket GSM phones.

    AT&T is working to transition its Cricket customers from Leap Wireless' aging CDMA network and onto its nationwide GSM-based network. The carrier said it will continue to support CDMA Cricket customers who apply for Lifeline support through next year, but that it won't provide Lifeline credit to Cricket customers on GSM phones.

    "Cricket is upgrading its CDMA network to 4G GSM and expects to stop offering CDMA wireless service as early as March 2015. CDMA PHONES (including CDMA phones that provide Lifeline service) WILL NO LONGER WORK ON OUR WIRELESS NETWORK AFTER WE COMPLETE THIS UPGRADE," Cricket said on its website. "When you transition to the new Cricket GSM network and rate plan, you will not be able to keep your Lifeline credit."

    This webinar will cover a range of topics related to the delivery of Hosted Business Communications services, including: how to identify and qualify business customers that stand to benefit the most, case studies on service providers who have successfully "made the leap" to offering hosted business communications services, and much more!

    Cricket pointed out it offers a $25 per month unlimited talk and text plan for feature phones that is similar in price to Lifeline services. "This plan is comparably priced to the monthly fee paid by Lifeline customers, and provides additional advantages such as: a nationwide GSM network, no roaming charges, all taxes and fees included, and no paperwork," said Cricket spokeswoman Nneoma Njoku.

    Njoku could not immediately answer questions about why Cricket is discontinuing Lifeline support.
    That AT&T is moving away from Lifeline is notable considering that Cricket counts around 671,000 Lifeline customers currently, according to a source familiar with the government's Lifeline program.

    The federal government's Lifeline program is designed to provide telecommunications services to eligible, low-income Americans. The government gives participating Lifeline carriers a subsidy of up to $10 per month per subscriber; the program is part of the $9 billion Universal Service Fund. Customers who qualify for Lifeline are often those who qualify for other federal benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps).

    The FCC in 2012 instituted a major Lifeline overhaul, via a new accountability database, geared toward stamping out waste and fraud by preventing people in the program from claiming subsidized handsets from multiple wireless carriers. That action dramatically affected the Lifeline business of some carriers. For example: "Sprint platform prepaid experienced net losses of 364,000 in the quarter driven primarily by the annual recertification of our Assurance (Wireless) Lifeline base, we expect a greater negative impact this quarter as more of the recertification deactivations occur and assurances impacted by the recent implementation of the national Lifeline accountability database," said Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer in discussing the carrier's first-quarter results, according to a
    Seeking Alpha



    transcript


    of the carrier's earnings conference call. Assurance Wireless is Sprint's brand for Lifeline services.

    Most of the nation's major carriers participate in the government's Lifeline program by signing up customers who are eligible for Lifeline discounts. Prior to being acquired by AT&T, Leap Wireless' Cricket received millions of dollars in Lifeline support from the government.


    Cricket's Lifeline Page

    Common Questions

    New Applicants


    I applied for the Cricket Lifeline Credit and was approved, but I still haven't gotten the credit on my bill. When will the credit show up on my bill?

    If you've already been approved for the Cricket Lifeline Credit, you should receive the first credit to your bill in one or two billing cycles.

    I've been approved for the Cricket Lifeline Credit; do I need to do anything else?

    Not at this time. The Cricket Lifeline Credit will appear on your bill in one or two billing cycles. Every year, you do need to reapply to continue to receive the Cricket Lifeline Credit.

    Existing Lifeline Customers

    I changed my phone number, and now the credit isn't showing up on my bill. What should I do?

    Please visit a
    Cricket Corporate-Owned Store


    in your area.

    I already had the Cricket Lifeline Credit, but now the credit isn't showing up on my bill. What happened?

    To determine why the credit stopped being applied, please visit a
    Cricket Corporate-Owned Store


    in your area.

    I have the Cricket Lifeline Credit, but I know I'm not eligible anymore. What should I do?

    Please visit a
    Cricket Corporate-Owned Store


    in your area for more information.

    Important Notifications

    Cricket is upgrading its CDMA network to 4G GSM and expects to stop offering CDMA wireless service as early as March 2015. CDMA PHONES (including CDMA phones that provide Lifeline service) WILL NO LONGER WORK ON OUR WIRELESS NETWORK AFTER WE COMPLETE THIS UPGRADE.

    When will I need to change to a new Cricket (GSM) device and rate plan?

    Network upgrades will vary by geographic area, with some markets as early as March 2015. You will be ntified in advance of any required changes.

    When I move to a new Cricket plan will I be able to keep my Lifeline credit?

    When you transition to the new Cricket GSM network and rate plan, you will not be able to keep your Lifeline credit. However, our new Cricket rate plans are affordable - offering great service at a great price without all the paperwork. Explore new rate plans
    here


    .

    If I change to a new Cricket GSM rate plan can I switch back and receive my Lifeline credit?

    Yes, as long as Lifeline is available in your area, you can re-apply for Lifeline. Certain plans may no longer be available. A CDMA device is required. If you purchased a new Cricket GSM device, you would be subject to the new Cricket
    return policy


    .



















    Last edited by Chris Rodriguez; 06-04-2014 at 09:31 PM.
    Please check the forum and post there before PMing me. I have over 674 unread PMs due to the fact that they are issues which should have been addressed here.

    If you need to buy something from (Ebay), please use this LINK every time and support the forum!

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  3. #2
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    YUP Pretty much sum's it up!
    March 2015 it will end, as well as all CDMA cricket users, your phone will stop working and u will be forced to by GSM!

  4. #3
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    It's not a contract issue, it's paperwork and billing issues along with reviews.

    Basically the AT&T system isn't setup for it. Sadly for ATT/Cricket T-Mobile "IS" setup for it, so is Verizon and then there is the one through Walmart as well (on T-Mobile's network).

    It's going to cost them customers. If T-Mobile had coverage where I need it I would have already switched since I do qualify and have used it in the past.

    The problem for ATT is there billing system needs to be setup to utilize the lifeline system to bill not only the Federal Government, but a variety of state governments who "supplement" the total. This entails more programming and headaches.

    Depending on the customer fallout I could see ATT bringing it back, but that is only speculation.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsdreams View Post
    It's not a contract issue, it's paperwork and billing issues along with reviews.

    Basically the AT&T system isn't setup for it. Sadly for ATT/Cricket T-Mobile "IS" setup for it, so is Verizon and then there is the one through Walmart as well (on T-Mobile's network).

    It's going to cost them customers. If T-Mobile had coverage where I need it I would have already switched since I do qualify and have used it in the past.

    The problem for ATT is there billing system needs to be setup to utilize the lifeline system to bill not only the Federal Government, but a variety of state governments who "supplement" the total. This entails more programming and headaches.

    Depending on the customer fallout I could see ATT bringing it back, but that is only speculation.
    i find it funny that AT&T can get a......
    headach
    out of this.... but small little company's can achieve this.

    for as much $$$ AT&T has it should be no issues to build multi-system to support the many states and locations to use the life line!

    so what im saying is its not a headach for AT&T, its more in the lets not give free lifeline.... lets make a plan that best fits there pocket.... so we dont lose money!

    this is how i see this!

    but we are all open to our own thoughts!
    Last edited by Twilight_Sparkle; 06-05-2014 at 04:00 PM.

  6. #5
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    They don't lose money with LifeLine since the Fed/State Government's cover the discount amount.

    But you have to see the difference here. Cricket had 4 Million Customers, AT&T has over 100 MIllion customers and I suspect the software running AIO and now Cricket is an offbranch of the exact same software running AT&T themselves including inputting data into some of the same databases and servers.

    When you are editing software that is in control of millions upon millions of customers things become a lot harder. You have a lot more work done behind the scenes and a lot of test runs before it goes live. Then you pray it works since real world is much different than test environments.

    With a smaller company or the Lifeline program walmart has it's much easier to create from the beginning or add in additional features.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsdreams View Post
    They don't lose money with LifeLine since the Fed/State Government's cover the discount amount.

    But you have to see the difference here. Cricket had 4 Million Customers, AT&T has over 100 MIllion customers and I suspect the software running AIO and now Cricket is an offbranch of the exact same software running AT&T themselves including inputting data into some of the same databases and servers.

    When you are editing software that is in control of millions upon millions of customers things become a lot harder. You have a lot more work done behind the scenes and a lot of test runs before it goes live. Then you pray it works since real world is much different than test environments.

    With a smaller company or the Lifeline program walmart has it's much easier to create from the beginning or add in additional features.

    that makes since.... wow i feel stupid now but at the same time.... AT&T should be a shamed to re-used / use a recycled system.

    they could use there Billion dollars to re-build a Better system! lol

 

 

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