RadioShack May Become Wireless Carrier Too
The Shack will reportedly dip into the pay-as-you-go sector with the launch of RadioShack Mobile.
An anonymous tipster has supposedly leaked a few screenshots to Engadget featuring what seems to be an upcoming wireless service from RadioShack. Currently the company offers cell phones chained to big-name carriers including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, and no-contact phones compatible with Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, GoPhone and others.
But according to the leaked images, RadioShack is entering the latter pay-as-you-go arena under the RadioShack Mobile branding. The no-contract MVNO service will be based on Cricket Wireless, a U.S.-based wireless telecommunications network -- the 7th largest in the States -- founded in 1999 and owned by Leap Wireless. Cricket Wireless offers nationwide 3G service to customers using Sprint's 3G network.
Back in May, Leap Wireless announced that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will be coming to its Cricket network, becoming the first pre-paid carrier in the United States to offer Apple's iPhone. Both phones landed on Cricket on June 22, costing $499.99 for the 16 GB iPhone 4S and $399.99 for the 8 GB iPhone 4. For $55 per month, users get unlimited voice, messaging and data although the fine print says the company has a "fair use policy" of 2.3 GB per month.
As for RadioShack Mobile, the first listed phone is the HTC One V, powered by Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," HTC Sense 4 and Beats Audio. The actual details on pricing and PAYG plans are unknown at this point, but the anonymous source said they should mirror what Cricket is currently offering. There are also plans to include the Huawei Mercury, the Huawei Pillar and an unnamed 4.3-inch Android device from Alcatel.
"RadioShack No Contract Wireless lets you choose what's important to you," the company states in one screenshot. "Low monthly rates keep you connected and let you talk, text and browse anytime you want. You'll have a choice of plans that feature nationwide coverage with no contracts to make it easy for you to stay connected wherever you go, any way you decide."
Cricket plans range from $25 per month to $55 per month spanning four plans. Two are focused on "unlimited music," allowing the user to download songs, ringback tones and ringtones without eating into the monthly data usage. All four offer unlimited texting, but minutes and data allowances vary.