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MVNO Spotlight: Cricket Wireless


Cricket Wireless was founded in the year 1999 by Leap Wireless. The company was initially an independent CDMA wireless network that had a partnership with Sprint. Sprint’s network was used by Cricket to provide domestic roaming for its customers. In July of 2013, Cricket Wireless was purchased by AT&T for the sum of $1.2 billion. About a year later, AT&T decided to kill off its own prepaid brand, AIO Wireless, in favor of merging it with Cricket.


There are a total of 4 phone plans available for purchase and pricing starts at $30/month for a single line. Cricket uses AT&T’s 4G LTE and 5G networks for coverage. Here is a list of the available plan options with the data differences between each plan highlighted.

· $30/month2GB high-speed data

· $40/month10GB high-speed data, $35/month if you enable auto-pay billing

· $55/month – unlimited high-speed data, $50/month if you enable auto-pay billing

· $60/month – unlimited high-speed data plus 15GB hotspot, $55/month if you enable auto-pay billing

What you see is what you pay. Taxes and fees are included with the prices shown.


Different Cricket Wireless phone plans support different features. But there are some features common to all plans. All plans include the following:

· Unlimited Talk

· Unlimited Text

· 4G LTE/5G network access

· HD Voice

· WiFi Calling

· myCricket App to manage account available on both iOS and Android


These are the plan features only available with specific plans:

· 5G Network access – available on all plans. On 10/29/2021, Cricket Wireless announced all its current rate plan customers will get 5G network access

· Hotspot – only natively available on the $60 unlimited plan which includes 15GB of hotspot data

· Mexico and Canada roaming usage – only available on the two unlimited plans

· HD Video streaming – only available on the $30 and $40 plans

· Stream More – feature available to customers on the $30 and $40 plans that reduces video streaming to a resolution of 480p. Stream More helps customers save their high-speed data so that it lasts longer

· Unlimited 2G data – on the $30 and $40 plans, customers that run out of high-speed data have their data speeds reduced to 128Kbps for the rest of their billing cycles.


The Cricket International add-on allows subscribers to call unlimited to landlines in 35 countries. It costs $5/month. Cricket International Extra expands the international options to allow MMS picture messaging to 35 countries and offers 1,000 mobile to mobile minutes to 31 countries. The International Extra option costs $15/month. Also available are individual country add-ons that allow unlimited calling and messaging. Pricing for the add-on depends on the country the subscriber needs to call or text to but ranges between $10-$15/month. Available individual country add-ons include Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Vietnam.


Subscribers that run out of high-speed data during their billing cycles can add more priced at $10 for an additional 1GB. Data does not rollover to the next billing cycle.


Mobile hotspot can be added to Cricket’s $55 plan for an additional $10. The add-on includes 15GB of hotspot data. Hotspot top-ups also cost $10 for 15GB of data. The additional hotspot data top-up does not roll over to the next billing cycle.


Cricket’s two unlimited plans come with a video streaming resolution limit. Videos typically stream at a resolution of about 480p or at a rate of about 1.5Mbps. According to Cricket’s mobile broadband terms and conditions, at any time the network gets congested, data speeds on the $55 unlimited plan may be temporarily slowed until the network congestion gets relieved. Customers on the $60 now have premium data, and will no longer be faced with slow downs compared to other customers when the network gets busy. Cricket updated its plans on 10/29/2021 and began offering premium data with the $60 plan.


The mobile broadband terms and conditions also state that Cricket Wireless will compress images that its subscribers see while browsing websites over the cellular data network. This applies to all of Cricket’s plans. The images get compressed to either JPEG or GIF. The technology is used to help control network bandwidth so that all subscribers have an enjoyable experience while using the network. Images viewed over WiFi are not subjected to Cricket’s image compression algorithms.


If you are using hotspot, there is a limit to the number of devices that can be connected to the phone’s hotspot at once. A maximum of 6 devices can be simultaneously tethered and connected. Even if you have a hotspot-eligible phone plan, Cricket only allows a small number of phones to use the hotspot feature.


Cricket only allows a small number of devices to use its 5G network. If you have or purchase one of the following phones you can use it on Cricket’s 5G network with a compatible plan:

Apple:

· Apple iPhone 12

· Apple iPhone 12 mini

· Apple iPhone 12 Pro

· Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

· Apple iPhone 13

· Apple iPhone 13 mini

· Apple iPhone 13 Pro

· Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Cricket:

· Cricket Dream 5G

LG:

· LG K92™ 5G

Motorola:

· Moto One 5G

· Moto G Stylus 5G

Samsung:

· Cricket Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G

· Cricket Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

· Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

· Samsung Galaxy A52 5G