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.
Posted by Dennis Bournique at 10:48 AM on Saturday, March 15, 2014 // 19 comments
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:
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.