Cricket Wireless is a prepaid no contract cheap cell phone service brand that utilizes the AT&T network and is now owned by AT&T too. Back in Spring 2014 AT&T dropped its AIO wireless brand to focus on its acquisition of Cricket which would become the company’s low cost brand.
The Cricket brand is meant to compete with other new low cost prepaid and MVNO cell phone plans like Republic Wireless, T-Mobile, and others. Recently, since it is owned by AT&T, the Cricket brand has stepped up its offerings and deals as a means to fend off T-Mobile’s marketing assault of the big wireless carriers.
Cell Phone Plans
Cricket Wireless offers a number of different prepaid plans with their main set of unlimited plans being their most popular. These unlimited plans consist of three tiers of service that range from $25 per month to $60 per month. Here’s a comparison chart of Cricket’s base plans:
|Plan||Price/Month||Minutes||Text||GSM Data||4G LTE Data|
|Talk & Text||$25||Unlimited||Unlimited||n/a||n/a|
You’ll notice that on the Basic, Smart, and Pro plans I’ve shown a price range with a $5 differentiation due to Cricket providing a $5 discount to those who enroll in their monthly auto-pay service using a credit or debit card. This is a no-brainer to me, but only if you are good about paying off your credit card in time. It’s nice to get those credit card points while being sure you don’t miss any payments via automation, not to mention the extra $60 you’d end up saving over the course of the year.
Another important thing to note about the Cricket Wireless prepaid plans is that there are two categories of data available for each. While they do technically offer unlimited everything with the three main plans, the “High-Speed” data on the AT&T 4G LTE network is limited. This means that if you use your allotted LTE data limit for the month, your data access will be bumped down to the slower GSM network.
Cricket Wireless Phones
Cricket sells a number of different phones both smart and dumb. The smartphones include the iPhones 5c and 5s. The Cricket Wireless Android phones include: Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Lumina 1320, ZTE Grand X, Moto G (my favorite), and a number of other lower end phones.
In addition to buying a compatible phone from Cricket, they also allow the option to bring your cell phone to the service, so long as it is compatible with the network. You can check to see if your current mobile phone will work with Cricket by entering the phone’s IMEI number in form on this page. If the phone is compatible, all that is needed is a Cricket SIM card which they sell for about $10 bucks.
What’s nice about being able to bring your own device is that it makes switching from another carrier to a cheap cell phone plan like Cricket all the more frugal. After all, why buy a brand new phone if the one you already have works perfectly fine?
- The service runs on AT&T’s fast 4G LTE network which is a huge improvement over the CDMA network that Cricket ran on prior to AT&T’s acquisition of the brand.
- There are no-contracts.
- Taxes and fees are included in the advertised price, so if you sign up for the basic $35 per month plan then that is the amount you get charged.
- There is the ability to bring your own device to the service so long as it is compatible with the network, thus saving you from buying a brand new expensive phone.
Cricket Wireless Complaints
- Some might be disappointed that the unlimited everything doesn’t mean unlimited 4G LTE for data, but rather unlimited GSM data which many have complained is much slower.
- Some users have reported “high latency” times when using the data network, aka surfing the web and using data intensive apps, however this seems to vary from person to person.
- Since the Cricket Wireless brand is considered their “low cost” service, they will tend to play second fiddle to AT&T customers and not get the latest and greatest access to new network technology and phones.
- Some users have reported that customer service was not that helpful when providing help for switching services.
More Reviews of Cricket Wireless
The following are some Cricket Wireless reviews I’ve collected from around the web that I feel are legitimate reviews from real people with real experience from this wireless service and not just a bunch of spam. Also, note that I’m only listing reviews that have occurred after Cricket was acquired by AT&T and switched over to the AT&T networks, since it wouldn’t be fair to compare their old CDMA service which is no longer available.
If you have used the Cricket Wireless service, please let us know what your experiences have been in the comments section below.