In three separate FCC filings, AT&T has revealed that should its planned purchase of longstanding flat-rate prepaid carrier Cricket be approved by Leap shareholders and federal regulators, it will shutter Aio Wireless as a brand and subsidiary and will instead rely on the Cricket brand for its flat-rate prepaid business.
“After the transaction’s close, AT&T intends to combine the nascent operations of Aio with Leap’s existing operations under the Cricket brand name. Aio still faces significant challenges to establish nationwide retail distribution, build brand recognition, and develop a significant customer base”
AT&T had previously pledged to expand Aio Wireless to 220 million people in a nationwide expansion that was set to be completed by Summer 2016, however those initial plans were placed in flux earlier this year when AT&T announced plans to purchase Cricket Wireless from parent Leap in July. Leap shareholders are set to vote on the AT&T deal next Friday and Aio Wireless currently serves customers nationwide via online sales and 230 physical locations run by third-party master dealer networks mainly in the South and Southeast.
Aio Wireless began trading this past year as a soft launch program by AT&T to compete with T-Mobile in that flat-rate category currently served by MetroPCS, T-Mobile’s secondary brand GoSmart Mobile and America Movil’s Tracfone lineup of brands before being recently expanded as a nationwide program in the past few weeks. AT&T also has yet to confirm subscriber numbers for Aio Wireless since its launch earlier this year, as the venture has yet to even complete 6 full months as a functioning business unit since being established last year before launch earlier this year.