Cricket makes LTE deal with Clearwire

Cricket Logo

Wireless operator Cricket Communications has inked a a five-year deal with Clearwire to provide 4G LTE mobile broadband services to Cricket customers. Cricket is already adding LTE to its own network, but by adding a wholesale agreement with Clearwire the company hopes to be able to offer LTE service to about two thirds of its network in the next two to three years. There’s just one catch: Clearwire isn’t actually operating any LTE service yet.

The companies did not disclose any financial terms of the deal.

“We believe this agreement with Clearwire provides us with an attractive option to supplement our own LTE build-out strategy and gives us the flexibility to access additional 4G capacity where needed as data-centric devices continue to become more popular,” said Leap Wireless president and CEO Doug Hutcheson, in a statement.

Clearwire is majority-owned by Sprint, and was initial set up as a provider of wholesale 4G services using WiMax technology — Clearwire (along with partners like Comcast, Intel, and Google) hoped to get a jump on the 4G game by having WiMax up and operational years before LTE became a growing concern. Although ClearWire did get WiMax up and running, long-term financial problems and bickering with Sprint inhibited widespread adoption — plus, almost the entire rest of the world decided to wait for LTE technology, rather than bet on WiMax. Clearwire announced plans to convert to add LTE technology to its network in August of last year; since then, Sprint signed on to lease capacity from Clearwire to supplement its own LTE network. Cricket becomes Clearwire’s second LTE customer.

Cricket launched its LTE services in Tuscon, Arizona, in late 2011. Cricket currently provides mobile services to about 7 million customers in the United States.

This deal doesn’t necessarily mean that Leap/Cricket LTE devices would be compatible with Sprint’s devices or network, or devices from Sprint-owned MVNOs like Boost and Virgin Mobile — Leap is an independent operator, although leasing LTE services from Clearwire does put it in Sprint’s sphere of influence.

Sprint’s board recently vetoed an effort to acquire independent mobile operator MetroPCS.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update gives you a ton of firepower to kill Cube Monsters

Fortnite's 6.22 update has arrived, and it brings with it the Heavy AR weapon, as well as two limited-time modes. The game is also adding uniforms from all 32 NFL teams later this week.
Mobile

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Mobile

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Mobile

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Mobile

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.
Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.
Mobile

Google’s Gboard now uses A.I. to recommend GIFs based on your conversation

Google is bringing a new feature to Gboard that should make it better for those that regularly use GIFs and stickers. The feature essentially uses A.I. to recommend GIFs and stickers based on your conversation.
Computing

Cloudflare’s privacy-enhancing 1.1.1.1 DNS service comes to iOS and Android

Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver service has been ported to mobile devices, and now anyone with an Android or iOS device can download it for free to take advantage of its speed and privacy-boosting features.
Deals

The LG V30+ gets a huge price cut on Amazon, today only

Though Amazon early Black Friday deals began at the start of November, the discounts are only just now starting to get good. Today only, Amazon is offering a whopping 40 percent off the unlocked LG V30+.