Leap Continues Transition to 4G LTE With 2nd Commercial Market Launch in its Cricket Las Vegas Market
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17, 2012 - Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), today announced the launch of 4G LTE service in its Cricket Las Vegas market. This introduction marks the second Cricket market launch in the Company's planned, multi-year introduction of 4G LTE technology for smartphones to its customers. The Company initially launched its LTE service in its Tucson, Ariz. market in December, 2011.
"The introduction of Cricket 4G LTE in Las Vegas is another milestone in our transition to LTE as we continue to offer our customers high-quality products and services with the latest technology and the value they've come to expect," said Doug Hutcheson, president and CEO of Leap. "We expect to launch LTE service in additional Cricket markets in 2012 and cover approximately 21 million covered POPs by the end of the year. In addition, we expect to introduce several high-quality LTE smartphones before the end of the year that will be attractive to our value conscious customers."
Leap expects to offer 4G LTE service for smartphones across at least two-thirds of its network footprint over the next two to three years. The Company's 4G LTE rollout is a product of thoughtful spectrum management. The Company has kept spectrum unused in order to give it flexibility in steering a clear path to 4G LTE.
LTE is the fastest, most advanced network technology in America delivering data at incredibly fast speeds. In pre-launch speed tests conducted in the Las Vegas market, Cricket's 4G LTE speeds ranged from 3 to 15 times faster than current Cricket 3G data speeds, depending on market conditions. More than 80 percent of Cricket's Las Vegas market footprint will be covered by the new 4G LTE network.
At launch, 4G LTE service will be accessible via mobile broadband services and Cricket's newly-improved 4G LTE modem, the Huawei Boltz, will be available for $149.99 (MSRP) at Cricket's company-owned stores and dealers in Las Vegas and Tucson. Customers can select from four 4G LTE monthly data service plans ranging from $35 to $80 month depending on the users desired full-speed requirements.