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The new Cricket Wireless aims to make 'mobile' affordable and simple

Cricket Wireless and Aio Wireless merge to form the new Cricket Wireless
Cricket Wireless and Aio Wireless merge to form the new Cricket Wireless

I get to go to quite a few press events, launches, and product debuts. That means an onslaught of food items I would never eat, are offered to me a various times during the day. Recently, everything from cured meats, to duck, and avocado on little crouton pieces of bread have been on the menu.

A new Cricket Wireless offers a better network, great customer Service and coll retail stores

So when Cricket Wireless held a press event in the North Metro area of Atlanta on May 15, to talk about their rebranding and blending with Aio Wireless, as well as show off their new store design, I was given a box lunch to take with me on the road.

A nice touch that got even better when I opened it up to see the main course.

It was simply, peanut butter and jelly.

Not just some peanut butter and jelly thrown haphazardly onto a piece of bread; this was the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

How refreshing, just like the new Cricket Wireless.

I started putting two and two together. The merger of Cricket Wireless and Aio Wireless is the perfect recipe and perfect combination. Just like peanut butter and jelly.

Launching this weekend on a reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network covering more than 280 million Americans, customers will appreciate the new Cricket Wireless, which takes the best of Cricket and Aio Wireless. The new Cricket will offer unlimited plans starting at $35 a month after a $5 credit for using Auto Pay on the hottest smartphones that hit the market. Add into the mix, a loyalty program, discounts galore, flexibility with all aspects of your service, and a customer-friendly experience in stores and online.

“We kept the Cricket brand name, but one thing is certain, we are stepping up our game. We are giving no-contract consumers the value they have been waiting for,” said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of Cricket Wireless. “Now new Cricket customers can enjoy great prices, popular phones, loyalty rewards, and friendly service on a reliable nationwide 4G LTE network. The new Cricket has more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS, period.”

The Network

Existing Aio Wireless customers will notice no change and Cricket customers will notice an improvement as the new Cricket will have a reliable nationwide network covering more than 97% of Americans and one that offers the ability to talk on the phone and surf the web at the same moment. Yes, it's 4G LTE coverage. The new Cricket offers more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS customers get- reaching more than 280 million Americans.

The Plans

Here's a change. You will actually understand your bill from Cricket. Cricket keeps it simple. All of the new Cricket plans include taxes and fees with no U.S. roaming charges. Cricket users can choose from three simple, unlimited talk, text and data plans at crazy low prices.

Per Cricket, service plans and extra features that give customers great service and more value include:

· Rate plans as low as $35, $45 and $55 a month after a $5 credit for using Auto Pay

· Savings of up to $90 a month for multiple-line accounts

· 4 lines for as little as $100 a month with a multi-line account

· Unlimited talk and text plan starting at $25 a month

· International calling plans starting at $15 a month

· Plans that include unlimited international texting

Let's also talk about loyalty. A word that is rarely used anymore. The new Cricket wants to thank customers on the Smart and Pro service plans for their loyalty. When a customer makes 12 months of on-time payments, Cricket provides customers with a $50 credit every year toward any new phone purchase. That could mean a free upgrade.

The Devices

Many potential no contract mobile phone customers think their choices will be limited when it comes to handsets on a provider like Cricket.

It's not the case, Cricket will offer choices for every potential customer; including the latest and greatest in new iPhones, Samsung, and Motorola phones.

"We are working with handset manufacturers to get the latest handsets," said Andy Smoak, AVP for Products at Cricket Wireless. "We aren't looking to have 100 skews, but we want to have an affordable and targeted lineup of phones, but also have some of the hottest smartphones as well."

That even includes Windows smartphones.

"We have one today and more on the way," adds Smoak. "We want to take on, and grow that segment. We've had good success with the Nokia 620 and are working on introducing Windows phones to the base."

The Stores

The days of dreading going into a retail store owned my a mobile phone provider are over. Cricket retail stores are welcoming and non-threatening.

There is open space and associates to help you with a purchase, returns, or even technical questions.

Scott Swaebe, Cricket's Director of Retail and Merchandising told me the philosophy is to keep things simple.

"It's what customers want today. They want to be able to come in and get out with (what) they need, or getting their questions answered. That is what they want and I think we give them exactly that."

The nearly 3,000 newly redesigned and rebranded Cricket Wireless retail stores are now open and ready to greet customers. If you like the color green, you will love the interior of these stores. They are bright, easy on the eyes, and include a kid's area for future Cricket customers.

"There is so much opportunity here taking the experience of Cricket and combining it with the innovation of Aio," said Van Buskirk. “We invite anyone looking for reliability, simplicity, and more value in no-annual-contract wireless to sign up today,”

There is that word again, "simple."

Go grab a glass of milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and check out, or head out to a Cricket Wireless store near you to see what is going on. You will be impressed and wowed by how simple no-contract wireless from Cricket can be.

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