SAN DIEGO, Dec 17, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
~ Unlimited Local Wireless Service Redefines the Industry, Achieves Record-Setting Penetration ~ Leap Wireless International,
Inc. (Nasdaq: LWIN), an innovator of wireless communications services, today
announced that the company now serves more than one million Cricket customers.
Cricket, Leap's unlimited local wireless service, has revolutionized the
wireless industry since it first debuted in Chattanooga, Tenn., in March 1999.
Today Leap offers Cricket service in 38 markets in 19 states across the country.
"Reaching our first million Cricket customers is a significant milestone for
Leap," said Harvey P. White, Leap's chairman and CEO. "As the seventh- largest
U.S. wireless carrier based on potential customers covered by licenses we own or
have rights to acquire, we see an opportunity to continue our rapid expansion
and expect to double our customer base to approximately two million customers by
the end of 2002. With Cricket service, we have created a new category of phone
service that combines the best of residential landline and traditional PCS and
cellular services. We look forward to continuing to reshape the
telecommunications marketplace in the years to come."
"Leap's approach to offering wireless services has redefined the industry,
attracting a whole new group of consumers to the benefit of wireless
communications," said Andrew Seybold, president of Andrew Seybold's Outlook
4Mobility, which in November presented Leap with an award for the "Most
Innovative Wireless Service."
Highlights in reaching the first million Cricket customers:
-- Because Cricket customers don't have to pay for incoming calls and
can make unlimited local calls anytime from within their Cricket
service area, the average number of minutes customers use their phone
is approximately 1,100 minutes per month -- nearly three times the
wireless industry average.
-- Cricket's award-winning advertising, which features a bright green
couch to show how comfortable wireless can be, has achieved brand
awareness approaching 90 percent within 90 days after launch.
Cricket's rapid brand awareness rivals that of established wireless
carriers, as well as residential landline service providers.
-- Approximately 91 percent of Cricket customers say they would
recommend Cricket to a friend or co-worker, according to the
-- Approximately 61 percent of customers say Cricket is their primary
home or business phone.
-- The innovative Cricket business model has achieved some of the
fastest and most cost effective penetration ever seen in the wireless
industry. Leap expects Cricket markets to achieve between 6 and 7
percent penetration in the first year, and between 9 and 10 percent
penetration in the second year.
"This one million customer milestone was achieved by a great team of Leap
employees along with the support of our vendors and investors," said Susan G.
Swenson, Leap's president and chief operating officer. "As a consumer marketing
company focused on delivering wireless innovation to the mass consumer market,
we look forward to working toward continuing to deliver results and execute on
our commitments in the coming years."
Leap currently offers its Cricket service in the following markets: Phoenix and
Tucson, Ariz.; Jonesboro, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Ft. Smith, Ark.;
Modesto-Merced and Visalia, Calif.; Denver, Ft. Collins-Greeley and Pueblo,
Colo.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Columbus and Macon, Ga.; Wichita, Kan.; Flint, Battle
Creek-Kalamazoo and Jackson, Mich.; Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.; Reno, Nev.;
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.; Charlotte, Hickory, Greensboro, High Point and
Winston-Salem, N.C.; Boise, Idaho; Dayton and Toledo-Sandusky, Ohio; Tulsa,
Okla.; Eugene and Salem, Ore.; Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis,
Tenn.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Spokane, Wash.
Leap, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., is a customer-focused company
providing innovative communications services for the mass market. Leap pioneered
the Cricket Comfortable Wireless service that lets customers make all their
local calls from within their local calling area and receive calls from anywhere
for one low, flat rate. Leap has begun offering new services designed to further
transform wireless communications for consumers. For more information, please
visit www.leapwireless.com .
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release
contains "forward-looking statements" reflecting management's current forecast
of certain aspects of Leap's future. Some forward-looking statements can be
identified by forward-looking words such as "believe," "may," "could," "will,"
"estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "seek," "plan," "expect,"
"should," "would" and similar expressions. This news release is based on current
information, which we have assessed but which by its nature is dynamic and
subject to rapid and even abrupt changes. Our actual results could differ
materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due
to risks and uncertainties associated with our business. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to: changes in the
economic conditions of the various markets our subsidiaries serve which could
adversely affect the market for wireless services; our ability to access capital
markets; a failure to meet the operational, financial or other covenants
contained in our credit facilities; our ability to rollout networks in
accordance with our plans, including receiving equipment and backhaul and
interconnection facilities on schedule from third parties; failure of network
systems to perform according to expectations; the effect of competition; the
acceptance of our product offering by our target customers; our ability to
retain customers; our ability to maintain our cost, market penetration and
pricing structure in the face of competition; technological challenges in
developing wireless information services and customer acceptance of such
services if developed; our ability to integrate the businesses and technologies
we acquire; rulings by courts or the FCC adversely affecting our rights to own
and/or operate certain wireless licenses; the impacts on the global and domestic
economies and the financial markets of recent terrorist activities, the ensuing
declaration of war on terrorism and the continued threat of terrorist activity
and other acts of war or hostility; and other factors detailed in the section
entitled "Risk Factors" included in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the
fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2001 and in our other SEC filings. The
forward-looking statements should be considered in the context of these risk
factors. Investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to
publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of
new information, future events or otherwise. Leap and the Leap logo design are
trademarks of Leap Wireless International, Inc. Cricket is a registered
trademark and Comfortable Wireless is a service mark of Cricket Communications,
SOURCE Leap Wireless International, Inc.
CONTACT: Jessica Levy, Media Relations, of Bock Communications, Inc.,
+1-714-540-1030, firstname.lastname@example.org, for Leap; or Sarah Thailing, Media
Relations, +1-858-882-6018, email@example.com, or Jim Seines,
Investor Relations, +1-858-882-6084, firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Leap
Wireless International, Inc.