The Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) subsidiary will begin offering the new pre-paid plans, which lob $5 off the previous options, on Sept. 2. The plans start at $50 for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of 3G data per month and go up to $70 for 5GB of data monthly. Cricket slows down data speeds once the cap is reached, but is introducing new tools for its customers to monitor their usage and buy more data at $10 per 1GB when needed.
Cricket is also extending its popular unlimited music streaming service, Muve Music, to all its Android smartphones plans. The app was previously only available on select handsets as a $10 add-on. (See Cricket's 3G-Friendly Mobile Tunes and Leap Hopes Music Will Muve It Nationwide.)
Why this matters
The U.S. mobile market is bifurcating between carriers offering unlimited data plans and those moving to buckets of bytes. Cricket, meanwhile, is trying something a little different, offering data plans that get throttled when you hit a cap but unlimited music to a user's smartphone.
After a weak second quarter in which it bled subscribers, however, Leap will have to draw a fine line between adding new subscribers and driving up average revenue per user (ARPU). Cricket's Muve Music customers have traditionally been some of its most valuable, and Leap's banking on making up for cheaper data by getting its entire customer base hooked on the music app on the go. (See Leap Wireless Promises Results After Weak Q2.)
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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile