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Cricket May Start Charging $10/Month Extra to Use Phone As Hotspot


Using your phone as a hotspot on AT&T's Cricket GSM prepaid service is forbidden by the the carrier's Terms and Conditions. The hotspot capability that's built into the Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems is disabled in all of Cricket's current GSM phones.

So far I haven't heard of Cricket taken any action against customers who use hotspot feature with non-Cricket phones or with the third party tethering apps on Cricket phones.

It looks like Cricket's hotspot policy might be about to change. Yesterday a page appeared on the Cricket site that offered users on $50 or higher plans the ability to enable hotspot for an extra $10 per month. The links for enabling hotspot on the page where non-functional and the the page itself quickly disappeared. Lucky for us, prepaidmobilephonereviews.com grabbed a screenshot (reproduced above).

One user who called Cricket was told that the $10 hotspot option would be available in August. Perhaps AT&T is waiting to see if the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules are neutered by Republicans in Congress. The new rules, which were adopted last month, require Internet service providers, including mobile operators, to treat all types of data traffic equally without blocking or charging extra to pass packets for certain services. When the Net Neutrality rules went into effect on June 12, T-Mobile immediately removed its extra charges and limits on hotspot use. Sprint still charges extra for hotspot on Boost and Virgin Mobile but they give you extra data when you purchase hotspot access, which might make the practice more acceptable under net neutrality rules. If Net Neutrality does manage to survive, it will be interesting to see if the Cricket hotspot charge resurfaces and what, if any action, the FCC takes against it.

Image: prepaidmobilephonereviews.com

Related posts:
T-Mobile to Allow Hotspot on All Prepaid Plans With Data
Update: MetroPCS Now Including Free Hotspot With All Plans
Boost and Virgin Mobile Launch New, More Affordable Hotspot Add-Ons
Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket Wireless (GSM)

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19 comments:

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  1. Sprint Prepaid includes Hotspot free, maybe Boost and Virgin will follow


    Is there an added cost for Hotspot?
    There is no additional cost for hotspot service. Remember that using hotspot will count toward your plan’s data allotment.

    https://prepaid.sprint.com/#!/plans/

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  2. If they block and make me stop using my hotspot on my non-Cricket unlocked phone, I'm going to Metro PCS. See ya, Cricket nice to know ya. The only reason I haven't switches to Metro PCS which recently came to the Nashville market because, I like the ability to use 20 gigs of data however I want and that means free tethering with my unlocked non-Cricket smartphone.

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  3. Happily awaiting the day I can buy a subsidized phone without crippled firmware and ineligible bootloader unlocks.

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  4. is it legal that it is disabled in the first place?

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  5. And the FCC may come down like a hammer on Cricket ....

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  6. 'or with the om of third party tethering apps'

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  7. I will continue to tether using my jailbroken iphone with MyWi on Cricket. if they warn me I will switch over to gophone.

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    Replies
    1. I will complain, but I won't leave. As long as no one comes close to Cricket on coverage and data value.

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    2. How to complain about this shoddy Decision by Cricket?

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    3. It's a little early to start complaining as Cricket hasn't started charging for hotspot and possibly never will. Complicating on Twitter or Facebook seems to have the highest success rate.
      Twitter: @Cricketnation @ATTCares
      Facebook: (Cricket, AT&T

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  8. I wish I would have gotten in on it when Cricket had 20 GB's of data. I certainly could have tethered when my home Internet acts up. US Cellular does the same thing with their prepaid service but Easy Tether bypasses all the crap. I'm sure its the same with Cricket. US Cellular charges $10 extra/month for tethering. So what the deal is that if you have a Cricket phone they'll turn on the tethering for $10 extra a month. I'm sure the FCC is going to put a stop to charging extra for tethering as when you have a cap or reduced speed after a certain amount of Data it would not matter rather you tether or not. The USA is greedy just like disabling the FM Radio's in smartphones. The FCC will soon put a stop to that. They have no right to disable the FM Radio on a device that was manufactured to include an FM Radio for emergency situation. The people who own smartphones should be able to use their FM Radio's.

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  9. Verizon now allows free "Mobile Hotspot" on prepaid plans. From the bullet points section of the Calling Plan Information pop-up on their website: "Mobile Hotspot is available for free on Mobile Hotspot capable devices."

    I just switched from my old post-paid plan to pre-paid, and now the Verizon mobile hotspot will work, where before it would say something about "subscription does not allow use..."

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  10. Tmobile and metropcs offer free hotspot but cricket want to charge extra get out of here. that crazy. They will lose customers.

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  11. Not entirely true with T-Mobile. The $30/month secret plan with 5GB of LTE (100 MB for tethering), unlimited SMS/MMS, plus 100 voice minutes... charges $15 extra per month to use your 5GB for tethering. So don't give T-Mobile too much credit yet.

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  12. If Cricket starts charging me for tethering I'm gone

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  13. You know Verizon is looking ever so much better day by day to me. They cost a little more, but our Verizon store here is pretty cool. They let you handle the phones and see for yourself what they are like. You can also find Verizon phones here used at Elezabeth City pawn and the yard sale on Facebook. I'm thinking of the switch soon as they are reliable and its easy to swap SIM cards when you need to change phones. And tethering puts the icing on the cake for me. I wonder what the highest amount of data I could buy on Verizon now I think its only 5GB but I'm wondering if I can renew early? If so I would not need to pay $90 for my hotspot and another $70 for my current phone. I could simply have used Verizon. Now I wish when I had a donation from my listener that I'd had simply bought a good Galaxy S4 or LG G2 and the following month I could have bought the phone card and activated the phone with my current phone number switched from US Cellular. If I get another donation like that I'll probably do that.

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  14. I've been tethering on the 20 gigabyte plan for almost a year now and will continue even if they charge you and I dare them to stop me

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  15. I have a zte overture 2 paired with my 2013 prius. cannot call by contact name. any ideas?

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