Just about everyone is familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers in Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. But, for each of these major network operators there are a number of other smaller fish. These Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) include the likes of Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless. They operate using the towers and infrastructure from the big names but have their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.
Let’s take a look at one of them in particular: Cricket Wireless.
Cricket Wireless (Cricket) initially launched in 1999 and is a US-based prepaid wireless service provider; it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. It offers its own lineup of GSM phones, many of which are also found at other carriers.
PODCAST: What is an MVNO?
Cricket rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement or cancellation fees. Moreover, they do not charge for going over your allotted data and taxes are included in the cost.
- $25/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with no data
- $30/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data
- $40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 5GB of high-speed data
- $55/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited data (up to 3Mbps)
- $60/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with high-speed data
Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. On the $55 Unlimited Plan you can add more lines at the following monthly rate:
- 2 Lines – $80/mo ($30 discount)
- 3 Lines – $90/mo ($75 discount)
- 4 Lines – $100/mo ($120 discount)
- 5 Lines – $125/mo ($150 discount)
It’s worth reinforcing here that this is not the high-speed 4G LTE stuff you might expect. Rather, you’ll find it’s capped at 3Mbps speeds. This may be more than sufficient for many of you, especially if you’re not primarily using your phone for watching streaming videos.
Other Cricket Features and Offerings
Cricket offers a handful of other options to its customers, most of which can pair with the aforementioned rate plans. Details here include international calling, insurance against lost and stolen phones, extra data, and mobile hotspot. Cricket also sells Data Only options with 3GB, 10GB, and 30GB buckets.
Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Cricket we find familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. There are also devices from the likes of Nokia, Alcatel, and Coolpad, too.
As is the case with many prepaid providers, selection is a mixed bag and skews more toward affordability versus power. With that said, we do recognize there are some compelling devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Moto G7 Supra.
If you’re in the market for a new phone under Cricket, be sure to check out our guide on which devices are the best.
Bring Your Own Device
You can often use your current GSM phone, especially if it was previously paired with AT&T. Head to Cricket’s website to check whether your specific model is supported. You’ll want to ensure that your phone is unlocked prior to purchasing the SIM card kit currently priced at just $10.