The FCC may not have approved or signed off on At&t’s ambitious attempt to buy T-Mobile a couple of years ago, but it seems more than OK with the nations second largest wireless carrier purchasing Leap Wireless, stating that it’s in the public’s best interest. For those who aren’t aware, Leap Wireless is the parent company for Cricket, which you may or may not have seen many of the new cheesy commercials for, especially if you have a subscription to Hulu Plus and watch videos with the service frequently, where those commercials have been appearing quite often. Maybe the recent abundance of Cricket commercials is an attempt to entice users onto the network before the sale. If so, it’s pretty sneaky of At&t. In response to some questions about allowing the acquisition to go through, the FCC responded by saying that: -We find that the public interest benefits of the proposed transaction outweigh the likelihood of significant public interest harms, such that overall, the proposed transaction is in the public interest-.
What does this mean for consumers? Mainly nothing if you aren’t a subscriber of Cricket or At&t, but if you use either of those wireless networks for your cell service than it could mean that service coverage may get better. In short, At&t now has near 5 million new subscribers under its belt, along with the assets that belonged to Leap. At&t will no doubt use these new wireless assets to build a stronger and more reliable network in larger areas, which very well could result in faster data speeds, and overall better signal strength. Current (or rather former) Cricket customers should soon have significantly faster data, as they will have access to a faster and more expansive LTE network.
The approval of the deal doesn’t come without its conditions for At&t, as it’s reported that they have agreed to take unused spectrum from Leap which it now owns, and deploy it within 3-12 months of the acquisitions official closing period. Basically what that means is that Cricket customers could see much faster and more reliable LTE network service well before the years end. It all depends of course on how quickly the deal is completely finalized. At&t has also agreed to offer value conscious consumers certain rate plans, which we’ll take to mean competitively priced, to keep them on board. Are you a current Cricket or At&t customer? What do you think about this deal? Are you convinced it’s a change for the better or are you worried that Cricket customers will end up paying higher prices?