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Good News For Cricket iPhone Users, Your Phones Will Work On The New Cricket GSM Network

One aftermath of AT&T's acquisition of Cricket is that in 12 to 18 months most Cricket customers will need new phones. That's because AT&T will be shutting down the Cricket CDMA network and migrating Cricket customers to the new Cricket GSM network, which is actually the old AT&T network. Trying to use a CDMA phone on a GSM network is like putting a square peg in a round hole, the technologies are totally incompatible, users will need a new phone.

It turns out there's one group of Cricket customers who won't need a new phone because their current Cricket phones will work on the GSM network; iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s users. Cricket dealers are receiving new point of sale price cards for current Cricket phones. For all phones except iPhones, the price cards contain the following disclaimer:

"Cricket is upgrading its CDMA network to 4G GSM and expects to stop offering CDMA wireless service as early as March 2015. THIS CDMA PHONE WILL NO LONGER WORK ON OUR WIRELESS NETWORK AFTER WE COMPLETE THIS UPGRADE."

The iPhone price cards do not have a disclaimer. A message to dealers accompanying the price cards says: 

"This disclaimer does not apply to the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s which are compatible with the new 4G GSM network"

This makes sense. Since the iPhone 4s, all iPhones have contained both GSM and CDMA cellular radios. In the case of Cricket's iPhones, the GSM radio is locked so it will only accept Cricket SIMs. Current Cricket SIMs are non-functional. When the time comes, I suspect that Cricket will distribute new GSM capaable Cricket SIMs. Or they could unlock the Cricket iPhones to allow them to accept AT&T SIMs. 


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  1. Thank you sir. You are a true life saver!

  2. Will cricket paygo (where you buy refill cards) still work?

  3. This is only for cricket cdma iphones? Anyone know if i will be able to use a cricket SIM in my verizon iphone 4s to get cricket service? That would be a life saver.

  4. So if one cannot afford these expensive iPhones what are we to buy ?? Is Cricket putting out new less expensive phones and when ??? Wish I had known all this before just buying a new standby phone yesterday only to find out it will soon be useless as well as the phone I have. Not real happy with Cricket not even letting their customers know about the change upfront.

    1. AT&T plans to shut down the Cricket CDMA network in 12-18 months. When that happens Cricket customers will be able to keep their phone numbers but will need a new phone. Well before the CDMA network is shut down, I expect AT&T to begin offering Cricket customers discounts and other incentives to switch to a GSM phone. Those who hold out long enough will probably get free basic phones.

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