Cricket Integrates AOL Instant Messenger

    November 12, 2004

Staying in touch with friends and family just got even easier for Leap’s Cricket customers.

Leap Wireless’s operating subsidiary, Cricket Communications will offer the mobile AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service, allowing AOL members and AIM users to automatically receive instant messages (IMs), alerts and reminders from their Cricket phone in real time. With the mobile AIM service, Cricket customers will be able to send and receive unlimited IMs, without being tied to their computer.

“The majority of our customers are avid ‘texters,’ sending more than 3.8 million text messages a day. We believe the mobile AIM service, with its familiar Buddy List feature that lets users see when their buddies are available, will be an even bigger hit,” said Nitu Arora, vice president, product development for Leap. “Our customers talk a lot — more than double compared to other wireless carriers — and our customers rank sixth in the nation in terms of text messaging, so unlimited IM is another perfect communication tool for them.”

For just $4.99 a month for unlimited use, Cricket customers can text or IM their friends and family without worrying about the cost per message. With mobile AOL Instant Messenger, users can launch the AIM application directly from their handsets, use IM Forwarding to send their desktop instant messages to their mobile phone and send an instant message to any mobile phone equipped with AIM.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Cricket customers to the growing community of mobile AOL Instant Messenger users,” said Himesh Bhise, vice president and general manager of AOL Mobile. “With the mobile AIM service, Cricket customers can stay connected with friends and family or quickly touch base with the office no matter where they go.”

“We understand the importance of instant communication and we are thrilled to roll out another convenient and unlimited communication option,” said Arora. “As we continue to launch additional services such as Cricket Clicks, our BREW-based data service, the AIM service complements our evolving product line and gives our customers another way to keep in touch with friends and family.”

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