Cricket customers have grace period before needing to move to a new phone and plan; Aio Wireless customers will see no changes
Just eight short months after agreeing to buy Leap Wireless, AT&T has closed the deal that brings the prepaid carrier under its big corporate umbrella. And if you were one of the few people who thought AT&T wouldn't quickly mix things up after the purchase ended, you may be in for a little bit of change. Immediately after the close of the deal, AT&T is combining the newly-acquired Cricket brand (which Leap Wireless operated under) with its existing prepaid brand Aio Wireless as its sole prepaid offering.
Aside from a rebranding to using Cricket instead of Aio Wireless as the brand, not a whole lot is changing from a service perspective. Existing Cricket customers have a bit of a grace period to keep using their current phone, plan and number — once the integration is entirely complete, you will then visit a Cricket store and purchase a device and new plan that will transition them over to the AT&T network. That has the bonus of giving you a much larger and faster network, while keeping things less expensive and prepaid as Cricket customers are used to.
Current Aio Wireless customers will see no changes whatsoever aside from a new name on the website, and their devices and plans will remain the exact same. Presumably the integration with Cricket will boost the prepaid carrier's overall speeds and coverage with the addition of new towers, customers and spectrum over time, but if you currently use Aio Wireless don't worry about sweeping changes (at least for the near future).
There's no indication here of what this means for AT&T's self-branded GoPhone prepaid offerings (the few that are left), but our assumption is that those are here to stay right now.
The New Cricket to Deliver No-Annual-Contract Wireless on Reliable Nationwide 4G LTE Network
Experience of Cricket and Innovation of Aio Wireless provide a Winning Combination for Customers
Alpharetta, Ga., March 13, 2014 – There’s a revolution coming in the no-contract wireless space and the new Cricket is leading the charge. The new Cricket Wireless, emerging today from AT&T’s (NYSE:T) acquisition of Leap Wireless International, which had operated Cricket, creates a powerful force that gives customers what they have been asking for. The new Cricket will change the way people think about no-annual-contract wireless by delivering what matters most: a reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network; simple plans at affordable prices; fresh and engaging retail stores in their neighborhoods; and a range of cool devices. “Today is more than a milestone in the industry, it’s a signal to consumers to get ready for a smart wireless service option without an annual contract,” said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of the new Cricket. “We’re fired up to help people across the country take advantage of our fast nationwide 4G LTE network, affordable pricing plans and cool devices everyone will love. This is the power of the new Cricket.” In the coming weeks, Cricket will be combined with AT&T’s existing operations to create the new Cricket, with a national presence featuring thousands of stores in states across the country. The new Cricket is taking the very best from each brand and focusing on providing customers with simple, affordable no-annual-contract wireless that’s easy every step of the way. Existing Cricket Customers
There is nothing current Cricket customers need to do to right now. They can continue to use their phone, current phone number and rate plan to stay connected with family and friends. Once the integration of the two brands is complete, Cricket customers may visit a new Cricket store at their convenience to purchase a device and service plan that will give them access to a reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network so they can experience great coverage from coast-to-coast, with no roaming charges. Everything the new Cricket is doing is focused on making it easy for customers to take advantage of all that the new brand will offer.
Aio Wireless Customers Existing Aio Wireless customers will continue to enjoy simple pricing plans and the phones they have without changing anything. The only change they will see is the name change to the new Cricket brand.
“Whether you’re an existing Cricket or Aio Wireless customer or haven’t discovered us yet, we can’t wait for you to experience everything the new Cricket will offer,” added Van Buskirk. “Get ready. It’s going to be easy to see that the new Cricket is the smart choice for wireless service without an annual contract.”
For the latest information about the merger, visit: http://merger-info.aiowireless.com
About the new Cricket Wireless The new Cricket Wireless was created for customers who want a simple, smart and affordable choice for wireless service, without an annual contract. In addition to always focusing on the customer, the power of the new Cricket is access to a fast, reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network, easy and affordable plans that provide unlimited service and include all taxes and fees, and a great selection of devices customers love. To learn more about the new Cricket or find a store near you, visit http://merger-info.aiowireless.com/ The new Cricket is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.