04
Sep
1

Thanks to the high cost of traditional cellular service, contract-free wireless service is becoming more and more appealing to many customers. Two fairly big names in both cellphone sales and pay-as-you-go wireless service - RadioShack and Cricket Wireless - have now teamed up to offer RadioShack No-Contract Wireless service. I kind of wish they would've come up with a catchier name. ShackMobile. ShackWireless. ShackPack. Boom Shack-a-lacka Mobile. But I digress.

The service will start off with but two phones - one smartphone and one feature phone - both manufactured by Huawei. The only one that is of any interest to us, the Huawei Mercury Ice, is a low-to-mid-range Android device, packing a 1.4GHz processor, 4" display, 8MP rear shooter, and Android 2.3. Available beginning this week, the phone is exclusive to RadioShack No-Contract Wireless for the first month of its availability, and will cost $150.

As far as plans are concerned, The Shack will be offering some competitive options in the pre-paid market:

  • $25 Feature phone plan - 300 voice minutes, unlimited text, unlimited web
  • $35 Feature phone plan - 1,000 voice minutes, unlimited text, unlimited web
  • $50 Smartphone Plan - Unlimited talk and text, 1GB data at full 3G speeds
  • $60 Smartphone Plan - Unlimited talk and text, 2.5GB data at full 3G speeds

Also included in the two latter plans (the smartphone plans) is Cricket's Muve Music service, which allows users to download and unlimited amount of music from the Muve catalog at no additional cost.

RadioShack No-Contract Wireless service will be available beginning this week.

FORT WORTH, Texas and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), a leading mobile authority and national retailer of innovative technology products, services and accessories, and Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), announced today the launch of RadioShack No-Contract Wireless powered by Cricket. The line of no-contract phones will be available to mobile customers at RadioShack stores nationwide beginning tomorrow.

This strategic collaboration represents a new choice in mobility and illustrates how both RadioShack and Cricket are dedicated to providing the right phones, the right features and the right plans to meet their consumers' needs. It brings together the convenience and mobility expertise that RadioShack is known for, with the great value and best-in-class wireless services that Cricket delivers. With a choice of plans that feature nationwide coverage with no contracts, the new RadioShack No-Contract Wireless powered by Cricket gives consumers yet another option for staying connected wherever they go.

RadioShack No-Contract Wireless Phones

The RadioShack No-Contract Wireless line-up will include some of the hottest smartphones on the market as well as a well-equipped feature phone, offering all the connectivity, productivity and entertainment consumers are looking for in a mobile device.

Two phones – the Huawei Mercury Ice and the Huawei Pillar – are available in-store starting this week, with two additional phones expected to be available by the end of September.

  • The Huawei Mercury Ice is available tomorrow and is exclusive to RadioShack for the next 30 days. At $149.99, it's a serious multitasker with a fun side. The Android 2.3 phone is powered by a 1.4 GHz processor, and its scratch-resistant 4-inch FWVGA screen displays crystal clear pictures and videos shot with the 8MP camera or camcorder. With Muve Music® included in the $50 a month unlimited data plan, the phone delivers unlimited song downloads, ringtones and ringback tones.
  • Value priced at $39.99 with service plans that start at only $25 a month, the Huawei Pillar is the ideal feature phone for consumers who find themselves texting to stay in touch. The Pillar is a compact device with a full QWERTY keyboard and mobile Web access to keep consumers connected while on the go. And with the phone's built-in camera, consumers can snap and share pics of where they are and what they're doing anytime.

"Mobility is about choices at RadioShack, and we are pleased to announce our newest choices with RadioShack No-Contract Wireless powered by Cricket," said Allen McClard, vice president of mobility for RadioShack Corp. "As a leader in the mobility category, RadioShack knows that each consumer is looking for something different when it comes to their mobile phone, and RadioShack No-Contract Wireless is part of our promise to continue to evolve in the wireless space to meet those needs."

Get Your Muve Music on With RadioShack No-Contract Wireless

Available on all RadioShack No-Contract Wireless smartphones is Cricket's Muve Music, the only music service designed specifically for mobile phones. Muve Music offers unlimited full song downloads from a catalog of millions of songs – all included in the wireless plan at no additional cost. The unique music service features fast downloads and high-quality audio for listening to your favorite music on your no-contract smartphone. 

RadioShack No-Contract Wireless smartphones are the only Muve Music phones that come bundled with an 8GB SanDisk memory card, allowing consumers to store up to 6,000 songs, as well as pictures and videos, on their device.

"We're pleased to join with RadioShack to deliver high-quality, no-contract wireless services including our award-winning Muve Music service," said Robert Young, executive vice president, field operations for Cricket. "Now RadioShack customers can experience Muve Music and the unlimited music platform it provides on their phone. Wireless customers are looking for top-quality devices, service plans that fit their needs and entertainment, all at a great value, and we're pleased to help bring these products to RadioShack customers."

Service Plans Powered by Cricket

RadioShack No-Contract Wireless will offer a selection of service plans for its feature phone and smartphones, giving consumers options and choices on the phone and service plan that best meet their needs. Feature phone plans start at $25 a month for 300 minutes plus unlimited messaging and Web access. For customers looking to increase their voice minutes, the $35 a month service plan offers 1,000 minutes plus unlimited messaging and Web access.

Smartphone plans start at $50 a month and include unlimited data (1GB at full-speed), unlimited minutes and domestic text messaging plus unlimited music with Muve Music. For users needing even more data flexibility, a second service plan offers unlimited data (2.5GB at full-speed), with unlimited minutes and international text messaging plus unlimited music with Muve Music, for $60 a month.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

    Does anyone remember when RadioShack had Trumpet Mobile? Having their own prepaid service was a joke then and I don't see this deal with Cricket taking off either. The "unlimited" data might be a good selling point, but I wonder how slow it gets once you hit your limit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trumpet_Mobile

    • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

      There is no "unlimited data", only in feature phones (which suck terribly).

      • John O’Connor

        WAP? they still use that?

      • Andrew

        The article says that all the plans have unlimited data. It's throttled after 1 or 2.5 GB, not cut off.

        • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

          It's still not unlimited data, the fact that I didn't catch that straight on might have a good thing about it. You're paying for 1 or 2 gigs of data, and if you want to go over it, they slow you down, nothing wrong with that. Now the problem would be if you paid for unlimited data and still get throttled after 1 or 2 gigs.

          • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

            That's why I used the term "unlimited" with the quotes. Just like all the other carriers said, then decided to throttle. At least the wording here isn't as terrible as Straight Talk. They say "Unlimited Web", which means no streaming or youtube. If you go over 2GB, they generally just kill your account with no warning and they provide you no way to monitor your usage.