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Leap Reaches One Million Cricket Customers
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
         company's research.

     --  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.

About Leap

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, Inc.

SOURCE Leap Wireless International, Inc.

CONTACT: Jessica Levy, Media Relations, of Bock Communications, Inc., +1-714-540-1030, jlevy@bockpr.com, for Leap; or Sarah Thailing, Media Relations, +1-858-882-6018, sthailing@leapwireless.com, or Jim Seines, Investor Relations, +1-858-882-6084, jseines@leapwireless.com, both of Leap Wireless International, Inc.