Cricket Enters into 4G Roaming Agreement with LightSquared

Mar 22, 2011, 07:00 ET from Leap Wireless International, Inc.

SAN DIEGO and RESTON, Va., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Leap Wireless International, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP), a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless communications services, and LightSquared™, the nation's first wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network company, today announced that they have entered into a long-term 4G roaming agreement. The new arrangement will allow Cricket, Leap's operating subsidiary, to supplement the LTE coverage that Cricket plans to deploy across its own networks over the next few years with LTE roaming services from LightSquared.

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"Our business progress demonstrates how data services are increasingly important to our customers, as evidenced by our customers' significant uptake of smartphones and data-focused, higher-ARPU service plans," said Doug Hutcheson, Leap's President and CEO.  "We intend to deploy our own LTE networks beginning this year to complement the existing nationwide 3G services we currently offer to customers.  This new roaming arrangement will allow us to offer customers an even-greater 4G service area as LightSquared expands its own network.  We believe that the broad coverage resulting from this business agreement will enhance our ability to offer compelling products and services and allow us to strengthen our retail relationships and distribution capabilities.  It will also give us flexibility to access additional 4G capacity where needed as data-centric devices become more popular and require more and more bandwidth."

"Leap is a fantastic company and we're excited to do business with them," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and CEO of LightSquared.  "Cricket customers' appetite for wireless data is growing exponentially and in ways no one could have envisioned even a few years ago. By providing a wholesale-only nationwide 4G LTE network complemented by satellite coverage, LightSquared will help Leap meet its customers' demand for universal, affordable broadband connectivity.  We are fully committed to delivering our roaming services on time and with the quality, speed, coverage and capacity required to support Leap's business needs."

Financial and other terms of the roaming agreement were not disclosed.

About Leap

Leap provides innovative, high-value wireless services to a fast-growing, young and ethnically diverse customer base. With the value of unlimited wireless services as the foundation of its business, Leap pioneered its Cricket® service. The Company and its joint ventures now operate in 35 states and the District of Columbia and hold licenses in 35 of the top 50 U.S. markets. Through its affordable, flat-rate service plans, Cricket offers customers a choice of unlimited voice, text, high-speed data and mobile Web services. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Leap is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "LEAP." For more information, please visit www.leapwireless.com.

About LightSquared

LightSquared's mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. Through the creation of the first-ever wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network complemented by satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value, and reliability of universal broadband connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. Through its wholesale-only business model, those without their own wireless network or who have limited geographic coverage or spectrum can develop and sell their own devices, applications, and services using LightSquared's open 4G network--at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The company plans to invest more than $14 billion in network infrastructure, deployment and operations over the next eight years.  For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements reflect current expectations based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information, but are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in or implied by the forward-looking statements.  Leap's forward-looking statements include discussions about its expansion plans and are generally identified with words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "plan," "will," "could," "may" and similar expressions.  Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could affect such forward-looking statements include, among other things:

  • Leap's ability to executive effectively with respect to its planned launch of LTE network coverage and to realize expected benefits from its new roaming arrangement;
  • Leap's ability to attract and retain customers in an extremely competitive marketplace;
  • The duration and severity of the current recession in the United States and changes in economic conditions, including interest rates, consumer credit conditions, consumer debt levels, consumer confidence, unemployment rates, energy costs and other macro-economic factors that could adversely affect demand for the services Leap provides;
  • The impact of competitors' initiatives;
  • Leap's ability to successfully implement product and service plan offerings, expand its retail distribution and execute effectively on its other strategic activities;
  • Leap's ability to obtain and maintain roaming and wholesale services from other carriers at cost-effective rates;
  • Leap's ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting;
  • Leap's ability to attract, motivate and retain an experienced workforce, including members of senior management;
  • Future customer usage of Leap's wireless services, which could exceed its expectations, and its ability to manage or increase network capacity to meet increasing customer demand;
  • Leap's ability to acquire additional spectrum in the future at a reasonable cost or on a timely basis;
  • Leap's ability to comply with the covenants in any credit agreement, indenture or similar instrument governing any of its existing or future indebtedness;
  • Leap's ability to integrate, manage and operate its new joint venture with Pocket Communications;
  • failure of Leap's network or information technology systems to perform according to expectations and risks associated with the upgrade or transition of certain of those systems, including Leap's billing system; and
  • other factors detailed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" included in Leap's periodic reports filed with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, filed with the SEC on February 25, 2011.  

All forward-looking statements included in this news release should be considered in the context of these risks. Leap undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Leap Wireless International, Inc.



RELATED LINKS

http://www.leapwireless.com


http://www.lightsquared.com