Leap sweetens the pot: free in-network roaming

Leap Wireless announced what it planned to do with all its new spectrum: Its Cricket customers can now roam in other Cricket markets without paying an additional fee and they can now subscribe to a new WAP-based data offering on the cheap. The new offering for Cricket users costs $50 a month and includes all-you-can-eat local and long-distance U.S. calling within any Cricket service area; unlimited voice mail; caller ID; call waiting; three-way calling; unlimited SMS, MMS and IM; unlimited mobile Internet use; and access to a "national extended calling area." Until now, Cricket customers' network was limited to their hometowns, but with the extended coverage area, any area served by Cricket is now considered "in-network."  

A few weeks ago, Leap announced its quarterly results: Last quarter Leap said it added 161,000 new customers. The carrier also did well in the advanced wireless spectrum (AWS) auction over the summer, and shareholders in the company were glad to hear that it will not have to raise additional venture funding to deploy its new services using its recently won AWS spectrum licenses. Over the next two years the small carrier plans to harvest new markets with populations totaling 24 million. Analysts expect the carrier to build out in 70 percent of the targeted areas by 2008, and the rest by 2009 with launches along the way.

For more on Leap's new offerings:
- see this article from RCRNews