Leap said yesterday it would overhaul
its service plans during the third quarter as part of a back-to-school season
refresh but provided few details about what the shakeup would entail.
CEO Doug Hutcheson said during an
earnings call that plans without “guidelines” on usage wouldn’t be a
good fit for Leap, seeming to rule out the possibility of an unlimited plan. No
other specifics were provided.
It has been some time since Leap last
changed its prepaid plans. Subsidiary Cricket Communications introduced its
higher-priced Muve Music plans in December 2010. Before that, its most recent
refresh came in August 2010 when it introduced new rates to accompany 15 new
devices and an MVNO deal with Sprint.
The service plan change is part of a
larger marketing campaign slated for late summer. Hutcheson said Leap would
introduce seven new smartphones by the back-to-school season and would be
“tweaking our marketing message to seek a broader demographic of value
The company is also continuing its
retail expansion and said expects to sell its products in 4,500 new locations
by the middle of the year. Target recently began selling Cricket prepaid
products in 1,600 big box stores.
Leap is also opening more of its own
store fronts and expects to add 250 more company-branded locations over the
remainder of this year.
Leap’s first-quarter earnings were
largely in line with expectations. The company’s losses worsened slightly to
$98.4 million despite a slight increase in sales, which rose about 6 percent to
$825.6 million. It added 258,000 net new customers and churn rose slightly over
last year to 3.3 percent. Smartphones and its Muve Music plans boosted ARPU by
more than $3 to $42.59.