Leap launches new plans, expands distribution

Leap Wireless introduced two new monthly calling plans and a broadband service that has an increased data limit. The flat-rate carrier also said it signed distribution deals with two new "big box" retailers, in addition to Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which already carry Leap's products.

The company's new calling plans land at $40 and $45 per month. The $40 plan includes unlimited voice, U.S. long distance and domestic and international text and picture messaging. The $45 plan offers all of that plus unlimited mobile Web and directory assistance.

Leap spokesman Greg Lund told FierceWireless that the difference between the new calling plans and the ones that Leap currently offers is that they are all-inclusive plans that include fees and taxes, and are designed to be "grab and go" products. "The $40 and $45 plans are specifically designed to be marketed in a mass-market setting," he said.

Lund did not disclose the identities of the new retailers that would be carrying Leap's new products, though he said the carrier would make further announcements on the topic in the coming months.

As for Leap's new broadband offering, it will go for $50 per month, inclusive of all fees and taxes. The major difference between the new plan and Leap's current Cricket broadband offering is that the data limit has been bumped from 5 GB of monthly usage to 10 GB of usage. Lund said Leap would slow down the speeds of customers who went over that limit in an effort to discourage excessive data use.

Leap's new services will be rolled out across the carrier's coverage areas over the next few weeks, and will be in place for the holiday shopping season.

Earlier in the summer, Leap made price cuts to several of its plans as a price war heated up between Leap, MetroPCs and TracFone. However, the company suffered a widened net loss in the second quarter, weaker subscriber growth and reported a lowered outlook for the year.

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