Las Vegas – AT&T prepaid brand Cricket isn’t ruling out the addition of more CE stores to its dealer base following Monday’s announcement that more than 2,800 GameStop stores will sell Cricket-brand service and phones.
Cricket currently sells service and devices 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.
“We’ll talk to anyone” about selling Cricket service, and Cricket will add more CE retailers “where it makes sense,” Cricket president Jennifer Van Buskirk told TWICE on the eve of the CTIA convention here.
Cricket also sells through a subset of Wal-mart stores, which carried Cricket before the carrier was acquired by AT&T in March and turned into AT&T’s premier prepaid brand.
Cricket plans to add “a lot more stores,” Van Buskirk said. “We aim to be a national presence, and GameStop helps.” Many GameStop stores are in cities where Cricket doesn’t have a retail presence, she noted.
Since its acquisition by AT&T, Cricket has added “several hundred” Cricket-brand stores, excluding the 600 Aio-branded boutiques converted to Cricket stores since the acquisition. Aio was AT&T’s prepaid subsidiary before the Cricket acquisition.
Cricket can expand nationally now that it uses AT&T’s national 4G LTE network for service, having previously offered service on a 3G CDMA network that it operated in about 40 percent of the U.S. Before its acquisition, Cricket offered LTE in only a handful of markets.
By the end of September 2015, Cricket will shut down its CDMA network, and customer migration from the CDMA network to AT&T’s LTE network is “ahead of expectations” because of the changeover to faster LTE service nationwide, Van Buskirk said.
The migration has also been aided by new rate plans launched in May as well as enhanced family plans and the launch of the only rewards program in the prepaid business, she said.