Additional information has hit the airwaves – pardon the pun – that indicates Radio Shack is planning to launch its own wireless carrier service soon.
But before you start pondering what a Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and Radio Shack world might look like, know that company isn't specifically launching its own network per se.
Rather, Radio Shack's "No Contract Wireless" will run on the back of Cricket Wireless, the nation's seventh-largest telecommunications network – transforming Radio Shack into an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, for Cricket.
Cricket, owned by Leap Wireless, offers nationwide 3G service sans contracts, and partnered up with a number of other wireless carriers for roaming services.
According to a leaked image sent to Engadget, Radio Shack's Cricket-fueled wireless services are expected to launch on September 5.
Plans and phones
It remains to be seen what phones Radio Shack might offer as part of its new "No Contract Wireless: service, although the HTC One V has popped up in earlier leaked images as a potential "RadioShack Mobile" device.
Other rumored phones include the Huawei Mercury and Pillar, as well as an unnamed 4.3-inch Android smartphone from Alcatel.
There's also no indication as to what Radio Shack's service might cost, but anonymous sources have indicated that it should be comparable to Cricket's offerings elsewhere.
Cricket currently offers two standard coverage plans and two "Muve Music" plans for supported smartphones: A $25 plan that nets 300 minutes of monthly talk time with unlimited text, picture, and video messaging; or a $35 plan that bumps the total number of minutes up to 1,000.
Cricket's "Muve Music" plans are a bit pricier at $45 and $55, but each comes with 1,000 talk minutes, the aforementioned unlimited texting, and unlimited downloads for songs, ringtones, and ringback tones – the more expensive plan is geared for Android devices.
Why Radio Shack?
Since potential customers can tap into Cricket Wireless from a number of different retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart, Radio Shack's sweetening its own offering by allegedly throwing in a free eight-gigabyte SD card with the purchase of any Muve Music phones.
However, the big question still unanswered is just how Radio Shack's to-be-announced branded no-contract offering will gel with the existing no-contract phones it already sells, which covers carriers like Verizon Wireless, Boost Mobile, and GoPhone, among others.
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