SAN DIEGO, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), the parent company of Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless communications services, today announced the beginning of its transition to 4G LTE with a commercial market launch in its Tucson, Ariz. Cricket market. The launch marks the beginning of the Company’s planned, multi-year transition of its existing high-quality 3G network to 4G LTE.
“The introduction of Cricket 4G LTE in Tucson as our first commercial market is an early milestone in our transition to LTE that will allow us to continue to offer our customers high-quality products and services with the latest technology at the value price they’ve come to expect,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and CEO of Leap. “Cricket is the leader in providing the best value in the wireless industry. That leadership comes from introducing new products and services, like LTE, in a thoughtful manner and on a timeline that is appropriate for our value conscious customers.”
4G LTE is the fastest most advanced network technology in America delivering data at incredibly fast speeds. In pre-launch speed tests conducted in the Tucson market, Cricket’s 4G speeds ranged from 5 to 10 times faster than current 3G data speeds. More than 90 percent of Cricket’s Tucson market footprint will be covered by the new 4G LTE network and further expansion is planned for nearby Nogales, Ariz. in 2012.
At launch, 4G LTE service will be accessible via mobile broadband services and the Cricket’s first 4G LTE device, the Huawei Boltz (E 397) modem, will be available for $149.99 (MSRP) at Cricket’s company-owned stores. Cricket’s LTE device roadmap is expected to grow steadily from modems to smartphones and ultimately other devices such as tablets. Tucson customers can select from two 4G LTE monthly service plans each providing up to 5GB of data per month. The $50 plan offers download speeds of up to 3Mbps and the $60 plan offers download speeds up to 6Mbps.
The Huawei Boltz, Cricket’s first 4G LTE modem, features a lightweight, sleek design. Its integrated installation software allows quick and easy set-up, the modem has a hinge and pivots to any USB 2.0 configuration and has a microSD slot for up to 32GB additional memory storage. The Boltz is backwards compatible with Cricket 3G networks for use in non-4G Cricket markets.
Cricket products and services are available nationwide through company-owned stores, dealers, national retailers and at MyCricket.com.