AT&T will relaunch Cricket by the end of Q2
AT&T will relaunch Cricket brand by the end of the second quarter of 2014, according to AT&T CFO John Stephens. During its Q1 2014 Earnings Conference call yesterday, Stephens confirmed that AT&T will combine its prepaid brand Aio Wireless with recently acquired Cricket under the new Cricket brand and that the new company will have a national presence with 3,000 locations all over the country.
Ones AT&T relaunches Cricket, new customers will get devices that run on AT&T’s LTE network while those who need to transit from Cricket’s CDMA to AT&T’s GSM-based network (except Cricket iPhone users) might be given used GSM smartphones that AT&T’s postpaid customers traded in when they were upgrading phones through the “Next” program.
The transitioning of Cricket’s CDMA customers should start early next year and is expected to last 18 months. Ones released, the Leap’s spectrum will be reused in order for AT&T to improve its LTE network and provide additional capacity while PCS and AWS spectrum will be implement in its network immediately.
AT&T can look up to T-Mobile as an example of handling incompatible networks and transitioning customers from CDMA to GSM network. T-Mobile, which is GSM-based carrier, has acquired Metro PCS CDMA-based in May last year. Since then, T-Mobile has been working on offering GSM handsets to MetroPCS customers and on migrating them as trouble free as possible. According to T-Mobile’s statement in February, they are moving with these processes faster than expected; 3.5 million of MetroPCS customers (around 40 % of their customer base) have been moved from CDMA to GSM network while 25 % of MetroPCS spectrum has been refarmed into T-Mobile’s. By the time this year ends, which is a year earlier than T-Mobile expected, MetroPCS’ CDMA networks in Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Boston will be shut down.
Source: Fierce Wireless