BEDMINSTER, NJ and SAN DIEGO — In a move to further enhance their multimedia messaging service (MMS) offerings, Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, and Leap Wireless International, Inc. [OTCBB: LEAP], a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless communications services, today announced that picture messaging customers of Verizon Wireless and Leap's Cricket service can now exchange photos with one another directly from their wireless camera phones. Users with video phones can also wirelessly swap video, including picture, text and audio files.
Mobile 365 will provide the interoperability service between Verizon Wireless and Cricket customers. The Mobile 365 network supports the CDMA2000 1X network standard used by the two carriers, and both Verizon Wireless and Leap chose Mobile 365 to provide the platform for interoperability in sending pictures given the company's leadership and expertise in the delivery of mobile messages.
"Now that picture messaging has gained mass-market popularity, customers want to be able to swap photos with their friends and family, regardless of which wireless carrier's network they're on," said Al Moschner, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Leap. "We are pleased to have formed a relationship with Verizon Wireless and Mobile 365 to make inter-carrier picture messaging a reality for our customers, and believe that this service will be popular with our growing multi-media messaging customer base. Inter-carrier messaging for our customers is just one more way that we continue to evolve our Cricket product offerings, and believe that it will be of great value to our customers."
"Inter-carrier agreements such as that between Leap and Verizon Wireless are necessary for seamless picture messaging interoperability across the country," said Jim Straight, vice president of wireless Internet and multimedia for Verizon Wireless. "In addition to encouraging the proliferation of wireless picture messaging, these types of inter-carrier agreements are in the best interest of customers who want to be able to send and receive pictures with wireless customers outside their respective carrier's network. We believe that picture messaging between customers on different wireless networks holds as much promise as inter-carrier text messaging did when it was first introduced a few years ago. We are pleased to be working with Leap and Mobile 365 and look forward to this service taking off."
Both Verizon Wireless and Cricket support a wide selection of multimedia messaging-capable phones. For a complete list of capable phones, pricing, and additional information, please visit the companies' respective websites: www.verizonwireless.com and www.mycricket.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
Leap, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., is a customer-focused company providing innovative mobile wireless services that are targeted to meet the needs of customers who are under-served by traditional communications companies. With a commitment to predictability, simplicity and value as the foundation of our business, Leap pioneered Cricket® service, a simple and affordable wireless alternative to traditional landline service. Cricket service offers customers unlimited anytime minutes within the Cricket calling area over a high-quality, all-digital CDMA network. Operating in 39 markets in 20 states stretching from New York to California, Cricket service is available to customers in more than 840 different municipalities. For more information, please visit www.leapwireless.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains "forward-looking statements" reflecting management's current forecast of certain aspects of Leap's future. Some forward-looking statements can be identified by forward-looking words such as "believe," "think," "may," "could," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "seek," "plan," "expect," "should," "would" and similar expressions. This news release is based on current information, which we have assessed but which by its nature is dynamic and subject to rapid and even abrupt changes. Our actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with our business. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to:
- our ability to attract and retain customers in an extremely competitive marketplace;
- our ability to attract, motivate and retain an experienced workforce;
- changes in economic conditions that could adversely affect the market for wireless services;
- the impact of competitors' initiatives;
- our ability to successfully execute service expansion plans;
- failure of network systems to perform according to expectations;
- our ability to comply with the covenants in our senior secured credit facilities;
- failure of the Federal Communications Commission to approve the transfers (a) to a third party of the wireless licenses covered by the asset purchase agreement between Cricket Communications, Inc., and a third party and the other parties to such agreement (b) to Cricket Licensee (Reauction), Inc. of the Fresno, CA license and the licenses for which it was the winning bidder in the FCC's Auction #58; and (c) to Alaska Native Broadband 1 License, LLC of the licenses for which it was the winning bidder in the FCC's Auction #58;
- global political unrest, including the threat or occurrence of war or acts of terrorism; and
- other factors detailed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" included in our Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2004, and in our other SEC filings.
The forward-looking statements should be considered in the context of these risk factors. Investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Leap and the Leap logo design are registered trademarks of Leap Wireless International, Inc. Cricket is a registered trademark of Cricket Communications, Inc. Cricket Unlimited Access, Cricket Unlimited Plus, Cricket Unlimited Classic, Jump, Travel Time, Cricket Clicks and the Cricket K are trademarks of Cricket Communications, Inc.