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Phone buyers are hanging up on subsidies, AT&T says

Stephen Lawson | April 23, 2014
Installment plans for cellphones are starting to squeeze out the time-honored practice of paying a subsidized price up front, AT&T says.

Changes are coming in AT&T's prepaid business, where customers pay ahead of time for what are typically less expensive plans. With its acquisition of Leap Wireless out of the way, AT&T plans to relaunch that company's Cricket wireless brand in the second quarter, folding its own prepaid operations into that business, Stephens said. He estimated it would take about 18 months to move customers off the former Leap network, which uses CDMA, and onto AT&T's GSM-based system.


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