Cricket expands Muve Music to all Android rate plans


Leap Wireless' (NASDAQ:LEAP) Cricket Communications subsidiary is extending its popular Muve Music effort to all Android rate plans. The all-you-can eat service was previously available to Android device owners as part of Cricket's $65 flat-rate monthly package.

Beginning Sept.  2, Cricket will offer new smartphone rate plans starting at $50 for unlimited talk, text and 3G data, along with 1 GB of full-speed data per month--subscribers may also upgrade to a new $60 plan offering 2.5 GB of full-speed data or a $70 plan boasting 5 GB. Both the $60 and $70 plans support data tethering, and all three packages include Muve Music at no additional cost.

Cricket offers Muve Music across six Android devices: Huawei's Mercury, Ascend Q and Ascend II, HTC's One V, Samsung Electronics' Vitality and ZTE's Chorus. According to Cricket, a majority of customers purchasing new handsets in the last 18 months have selected smartphones or Muve Music-enabled units.

Cricket launched Muve Music in early 2011, trumpeting songs from all four major labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music). The Muve catalog later expanded to include content from independent digital music distributors CD Baby, TuneCore and The Orchard. Muve is on pace to offer 10 million tracks by year-end.

Muve Music leverages a SanDisk solution that enables DRM-free over-the-air downloads. Content is stored and protected on a special flash memory card, which according to Cricket skirts conventional DRM requirements and translates to an improved user experience, enhanced handset performance and extended battery life.

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