AT&T certainly made ripples in the industry last summer when they announced that they were going to acquire Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion. Just in case you were wondering, Leap Wireless happens to also own Cricket Wireless, who is a prepaid carrier. This particular move was taken by AT&T in order to help it expand the capacity as well as performance of its LTE network. Leap’s shareholders naturally gave the deal the go ahead a few months after that, but since then, everything on the ground has remained pretty much silent. Until now, that is.
It does seem as though the agreement between AT&T and Leap Wireless has taken a huge step toward completion today, as the FCC has just announced that they have given their required nod of approval for AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Leap Wireless. Of course, this will require AT&T to fulfil certain conditions that are laid out before them prior to picking Leap up on an official basis.
Among the conditions that the FCC has set before AT&T, they will include to divest certain markets in south Texas, to deploy LTE on Leap’s unused AWS-1 and PCS spectrum, to roll out LTE in several Texas markets, including Corpus Christi and Laredo, to continue to offer Cricket’s existing prepaid service to current customers for 4 years and new customers for 2 years in addition to some new low-cost rate plans, and to offer a trade-in program to allow existing Cricket customers to hand in their device for a new one or a credit to be used toward another phone, among others.