AT&T ditches Aio brand in favor of Cricket

by: Shawn IngramMarch 14, 2014

Cricket 4G LTE

AT&T’s Aio prepaid brand, which you may remember as the brand that got in trouble for using the color magenta, is merging with Cricket, a  more recognizable prepaid brand.

AT&T is merging to two brands as it just gained the Cricket brand by acquiring its parent company Leap Wireless yesterday. The carrier had plans for the switch since October, if not before then, and wasted no time announcing the change to its users.

The change won’t really affect any  users right now, though AT&T will  phase out the current crop of CDMA-based Cricket phones with new GSM-based phones soon. The good news, theoretically, is that the new Cricket phones will use AT&T’s full network, including its 4G LTE network, while staying a prepaid brand. That may or may not be good news depending on the quality of AT&T’s network in your area.

After AT&T completely integrates Cricket and Aio current Cricket customers will have the chance to go to a Cricket store to get a new phone and plan “at their convenience.” There’s no word on how long users will have until they absolutely have to switch to a new phone.

Current Aio customers won’t have to do anything, they’ll simply see the name of their carrier switch from Aio to Cricket. The service will remain the same. Think of it like when Cingular turned into AT&T a few years ago, but with prepaid phones.

The website for the merging of the two brands promises the new Cricket will have “simple” and “affordable” plans that include all taxes and fees in their advertised prices. There’s no word on what those plans will look like, though. Based on the video message from new Cricket president Jennifer Van Buskirk, the plans may look similar to Aio plans, though it could simply be that Aio customers will be grandfathered into the new brad with their current plans.

Does the brand name of the prepaid carrier make much a difference to you? Or does the name not matter as long as it has decent phones?

  • Aki I.

    Call it turds wireless for all I care, If the service is good and prices palatable, I’m using turds

  • David Mosley

    I looked into Aio data plans…. Not good! I have a10 gigabyte plan with Cricket for the same price as Aio and they only offer 5 gigs. They offer what Cricket USED to sell as plans before Cricket doubled their data plans(without increase in data price). I hope we don’t get their data plans, I’d spend the same money and get less product. I’d be back where I started.

  • tbro4033

    Kind of odd reading this article about Aio customers soon being switched to Cricket. An Aio store literally just had a grand opening today like 2 blocks from my apartment. Why would they be opening a new store if they are just switching to Cricket in the near future? Did I misunderstand part of this article?

    • Joe

      AT&T has had Aio as its prepaid subsidiary for a while now. The title of the article is misleading because AT&T is keeping Aio while moving the Cricket customers into the current network for Aio. The name is going to change to Cricket because they have been around much longer and have a reputable name. Aio appears to be staying the same in every other sense.

      In simple terms, Cricket customers will become Aio customers on Aio’s network, but Aio is changing the name.

      • tbro4033

        Ok, I understand a little better, thanks. But my point still stands…if they are switching the name to Cricket in the near future, why did they bother building an Aio store (and not just build a Cricket store)? Seems like a waste of funds for the signage and all the stuff that goes along with branding the unit for Aio, only to have to rebrand/re-sign the store as Cricket in the near future.