Atlanta, Ga. – AT&T prepaid subsidiary Cricket Wireless brought its newest plans and phones to almost 1,000 Walmart stores as part of its rebuilding effort.
“This is the first time Walmart customers have access to the new Cricket Wireless network and the first time the Moto E and Samsung Galaxy Express (exclusive to Cricket) will be offered to Walmart customers,” a Cricket spokesperson explained. “Before now, the offers in Walmart stores were the legacy Cricket offers.”
The phones are in almost 1,000 Walmart stores, about the same as before.
Cricket launched its products and plans earlier this year after it was purchased by AT&T and turned into an AT&T subsidiary. Cricket, which operated its own network, was ailing financially when it was purchased.
Following the purchase, Cricket refreshed its brand with lower priced plans and new devices that operated on AT&T’s nationwide LTE network. The refreshed Walmart relationship “is meant to emphasize that Cricket's new plans, devices and a reliable nationwide network, which gives customers more 4G LTE coverage than T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost and Metro PCS, are now available to more consumers at Walmart stores nationwide,” the spokesperson said.
Through Walmart, Cricket is offering the Samsung Galaxy Express with LTE at $99.88 with activation and the Moto E (4G HSPA+ phone) at $49.88 with activation. Both are Cricket exclusives to Walmart. The Moto E features Android 4.4 KitKat, 4.3-inch qHD display, water-repellent coating, dual-core processor, and 5-megapixel camera. The Express is an Android phone with 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 5- and 1.3-megapixel cameras, and dual-core 1.5GHz processor.
The announcement follows an early-September announcement that Cricket would become the exclusive cellular provider in more than 2,800 of GameStop’s 4,200 U.S. stores.
The expansion was part of a plan to become a national presence, Cricket president Jennifer Van Buskirk told TWICE in September. Cricket also sells through about 3,000 Cricket-branded stores in about 1,000 cities. Only 170 of them are corporate-owned; the rest are dealer-owned wireless stores that sell Cricket service exclusively.
Before it was purchased by AT&T, Cricket operated its own network in 65 markets and, in 2011, expanded distribution to all 50 states after reaching a reseller agreement with Sprint. The agreement enabled multiple national retailers to offer Cricket-branded phones in markets where Leap did not operate.