Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There's a Cricket in Your Pocket

Our Texas readers have been observing the hot competition between Pocket Wireless and Cricket Wireless which has resulted in consistently low prices for Unlimited cellular service in the area. Pocket prices in Texas started as low as $25 per month, and Cricket almost always matched that price in common areas.

Today, Leap Wireless, the parent of Cricket, announced a new Leap-operated joint venture between the two companies. This probably signals the end of the Pocket brand in south Texas, and the Lone Star state price war. Pocket will continue to operate in New England but with plan prices that don't seem to concern Cricket.

It's always bad for consumers to lose a choice in a market, but this particular move will probably help keep Cricket afloat by removing a thorn in their side. I'm surprised that Pocket makes that much difference to a semi-national company like Cricket, but then it's only a "joint venture", right? Leap Wireless should be working a deal with MetroPCS or another large carrier instead of dealing with small potatoes. I guess you do the deals you can do. San Antonio region customers will get slightly better service, but you'll pay for it.

2 comments:

Randy G said...

Reading the terms, Pocket basically just gave away 50% of their market. Whatever money they received, they hand it right back. Who was negotiating for Pocket, Neville Chamberlain?

Ian said...

I'm curious what happened as well.

That said, Pocket doesn't have a 3G network, so they really can only compete on price. No company wants to compete on price in the long term.

Hopefully the CricKet South Texas market keeps Pocket's customer service, which is quite good.

We'll see what happens. Pocket is the reason CricKet's prices in South Texas are as low as they are...