Aio Wireless Officially Dead as AT&T Re-Introduces Cricket

AT&T, which earlier this year closed on its $1.2 billion acquisition of Leap Wireless, has given Cricket Communications, Leap’s former prepaid wireless offering, a facelift.

"As you think about the new Cricket, think about it as keeping the Cricket name, but totally changing the game for customers," said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of AT&T’s Cricket unit, as quoted by CNET.

AT&T’s decision to buy Leap/Cricket signaled the death knell for Aio Wireless, the prepaid brand that AT&T started one year ago. That came much to the chagrin of Aio customers who were happy with their service, and not happy to learn that they would be moved to the new Cricket.

AT&T has worked hard to assure customers that it will be a smooth transition. You can go to a Cricket store and get a phone that’s compatible with AT&T’s HSPA+ or LTE networks, upgrading from Cricket’s 3G network. The carrier also announced a series of new plans, all of which give you unlimited talk and text. The $40 plan gives you 500MB of data per month, while the $50 and $60 plans give you 2.5GB and 5GB, respectively.

Don’t care about data? You can get just unlimited talk and text for $25. And Cricket is throwing in a $5 discount off each plan if you sign up for automatic payments. Furthermore, Cricket’s new Group Save plan gives you more discounts based on the number of people signed up in your group – similar to how Sprint’s new Framily plan operates – only it all comes on a single bill.

The Cricket deal puts AT&T in a position to improve its standing in the prepaid market at a time when postpaid is becoming saturated.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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