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Cricket Wireless Announces $100 Switcher Credit and New $70 Plan With Unlimited 8 Mbps Data

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AT&T's Cricket Wireless prepaid brand announced a new plan and a new $100 credit for T-Mobile customers porting their numbers to Cricket today.

The new plan, which launches this Sunday April 17, is priced at $70/month ($65 with auto pay). It includes unlimited talk, messaging  in and between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. As with all Cricket plans, data speeds are throttled to 8 Mps on LTE and 4 Mbps on HSPA+. Cricket's $10/month Hotspot and tethering add-on is not available on the new plan. Like all Cricket plans, the plan price includes all taxes and fees, even local sales taxes and e911 fees.

Starting Sunday, Cricket is also offering a new $100 credit for customers who port in a number from T-Mobile and activate on a "qualifying" plan. Credit's press release announcing the credit doesn't say which plans qualify for the credit but past credits have only been available when activating on a $40 or higher plan. The $100 is in the form of a credit
that will be added to the customers's account within 60 days after activation.

AT&T apparently considers rapidly growing T-Mobile its biggest challenger these days. In announcing the new plan and switcher credit, Cricket president John Dwyer said, "Cricket has over 275,000 more square miles of 4G LTE coverage than T-Mobile. And our unlimited plan for a single smartphone line is $25 less a month. More coverage for a lot less money – two great reasons to make the switch."

Here's Cricket's newly expanded plan lineup:
Plan Name Monthly Price Hi-Speed Data 2
Talk & Text 1 $25 (no autopay discount) None
Basic $40 ($35 with autopay) 2.5 GB 3
Smart $50 ($45 with autopay) 5 GB 3
Pro $60 ($55 with autopay) 10 GB 3
Unlimited $70 ($65 with autopay) Unlimited 3
1 Talk & Text plan only available with Cricket feature phones and BYOP SIMs, not with smartphones sold by Cricket.
High-Speed data is throttled to a maximum speed of 8 Mbps for LTE data and 4 Mbps for HSPA+. After the high-speed data cap is reached speed is further throttled to about 128 Kbps. Additional high-speed data is available for $10 for 1GB good for a month.
3 $50, $60 and $70 plans include unlimited calls (including to mobile phones) and messaging (including MMS) to Mexico and Canada, Canadian and Mexican voice, text and data roaming. and unlimited international text messaging to 38 additional countries. Mexico and Canada roaming voice, messaging or data use must not exceed 50% of total use in any consecutive three month period.

For more about Cricket see our Cricket Wireless Prepaid Operator Profile.

Source: Cricket Wireless

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77 comments:

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  1. Confused: the unlimited is $70 in one place and $60 in another.

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    1. Typo fixed, thanks for pointing it out. The Unlimited plan is $70.

      Delete
  2. I assume this is only going to work for T-Mobile postpaid numbers, not prepaid or MVNO's, or is there no way for Cricket to distinguish between them?

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    1. I'm sure porting form T-Mobile Prepaid is eligible. I don't know about MVNOs. The press release just says T-Mobile, nothing about prepaid, postpaid or MVNOs.

      When you port a number Cricket knows what carrier or MVNO you are porting from but not which plan you had with the losing carrier.

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    2. I've ported Prepaid before.

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  3. I wonder if there will be a sunset on the grandfathered $60/$55 plan for 20GB of relatively high speed data?

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  4. To put things into perspective: the amount of land that Cricket claims it has in larger area for 4G coverage compared to T-Mobile is roughly the size of Texas.

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    1. Cricket is owned by ATT and uses their towers, so...

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    2. To really put things in perspective, T-Mobile now has 91% of the geographic LTE coverage that AT&T has, and covers virtually the same number of people.

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    3. The geographic part matters. But the "same number of people" stat is worthless, as it measures at home addresses. It's good for landline replacements, but not mobile phones.

      Delete
    4. People coverage or pops is not "tied to home addresses." It is the number of people estimated to be in a geographic areas that have wireless coverage.
      Your other notion that when people step away from their houses they have no coverage is just a fantasy or FUD.

      Delete
    5. Thank you for explaining how the meaningless POPs stat is based on home addresses, and is invalid when considering matters of mobile carriers.

      The notion that when people step away from their houses on on inferior networks and lose coverage is reality, unfortunately. That is part of why the good carriers have so many more customers compared to the much worse ones. They just work.

      Despite the FUD from shills of bad carriers who keep arguing that having the phone work everywhere you go is actually bad.

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    6. If a carrier covers 50 miles around my house and nowhere else, they're still a million times more useful TO ME than a carrier that has no coverage within 50 miles of my home. Covering 99% of the rest of country, including the entirety of the Alaskan bush, doesn't help me one bit.

      Your mileage may vary.

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    7. Still not good, because you have to pour over coverage maps with a bad carrier to get even that 50 mile radius. And once you need to go beyond 50 miles, you had better buy a 2nd phone to work on a real mobile network.

      Nice try with the Alaskan bush, but coverage from T-Mobile and Sprint is still poor in most Eastern states.

      With the good carriers you don't have to draw compass lines around your house and pray you never have to visit another city. It just works.

      Delete
    8. Interesting. So by that criterion, T-Mobile has a good network.

      Delete
  5. If it was untrottle lte i would jump on it like a heart beat. 8mb so slow.

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    1. Not only that, you never get 8mbit, usually less than 3mbit and 200ms pings. On HSPA its around 200-400kbit and 500ms pings. Absolutely worthless. Smoke signals have better coverage.

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  6. What is 8mb too slow to do, really? I've asked many times, all I get are crickets.

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    1. You almost never get that speed.

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    2. No difference. What can't you do at the often experienced speed (5mbps or so) that you can do at the higher speed?

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    3. They average 3.5Mbps per independent testing, and this speed wastes your time.
      Cricket is the slowest of all major carriers, significantly slower than Sprint average speeds.
      Of course if your time is worth nothing, go ahead and wait.

      Delete
    4. An honest measurement of speed would be averaged out, and include all the 0mbps places that have at least 3 in Cricket. As it is, the speed tests tend to be cooked by leaving out the places of the worst T-Mobile and Sprint speed.

      Delete
    5. Measuring speeds in places where virtually no people go is only good for biased tests designed to favor Verizon or AT&T. I trust the way independent pros to measure speed in specific places, not the way one anonymous blogger would rig a test to match his bias.

      Delete
    6. Making up terms to deflect from bad coverage like "where no people go" is a game regional carriers play. Purely arbitrary. The real national carriers just cover people wherever they go. No worries.

      A geographic text is the least biased of all. It reflects how good network is. Just as a good math test is only "biased" against those who don't count.

      It takes a truly rigged test to boost a bad carrier's profile by excluding every place where it is bad.

      Delete
    7. "all I get are crickets"

      I bet you do!

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    8. Cricket is just bad everywhere. Slow Slow Slow. Try going to a mall, stadium, or concert. You might as well toss your phone in the trash. They are so heavily de-prioritized you're basically paying to not use your phone

      Delete
  7. Hey Cricket... Just bring back Advance Plan...

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  8. What speed are you supposed to get with Tmobile simply prepaid?

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  9. No tethering and $10 higher than MetroPCS. MetroPCS has limited roaming which partially offsets the coverage gap.

    Cricket needs to improve their unlimited plan if they want to compete with MetroPCS.

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    1. MetroPCS is limited and pricey. The Cricket plan doesn't need to "improve": it already kills MetroPCS. Included in that supposedly Texas-sized coverage different total area are very large chunks even of Eastern states that are ignored by MetroPCS (the substandard T-Mobile network) and still covered by Cricket.

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    2. MetroPCS has about twice as many customers as Cricket, so the market says you are very wrong. Your coverage argument is on its death bed, since T-Mobile doubled its LTE coverage area last year alone, and has added even more land coverage this year.
      T-Mobile has so much more coverage that they have an aggressive plan to open more stores in those new areas to meet the demands of their "rapidly growing" customer base. MetroPCS mobile data speed blows crippled Cricket speeds away.

      Delete
    3. "The Market" said nothing, nor did it refute any facts. The Texas sized difference between the better network and the worse one will be alive and well for years.

      Until then, MetroPCS speeds will only look better than speeds of much better networks as long as the "studies" exclude where MetroPCS is slowest.

      Your "doubled LTE coverage" argument is also weak, as it involves fixing T-Mobile's embarrassingly stone-age towers, and not increasing actual coverage.

      Delete
  10. Wonder if Cricket realizes their slow 8 MB download is holding back more potential customers who see the faster speed on TMobile and stay.

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    1. Probably not. Because no one can name a single thing you can't do at 8mbps that you can do at higher speeds.

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    2. You never get 8mbit, barely 500kbit

      Delete
  11. No tethering, a speed cap of 8mbps, and an extra ten dollars kills it. I don't think I would switch even if Cricket matched MetroPCS' unlimited plan. MetroPCS is a lot more consumer-friendly.

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    1. There's tethering for many. but not all devices. It sounds like an improvement to have this option. I'd never consider MetroPCS due to its lousy coverage.

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    2. What good are high speeds anyway if you don't have the coverage to get those high speeds?
      And most people use WiFi anyway most of the time with their smartphones.

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    3. Agree some. With a high data plan. I try to avoid wifi most of the time, as it seems a lot dodgier.

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    4. What good is coverage if you can't use it? If most people use WiFi, why do you need more coverage? I'd rather have fast and usable service from Metro in most places than unusable service everywhere from Cricket.

      Delete
  12. Hi Dennis,what's their cap on 'unlimited' data ?

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  13. How come the IPhone SE at Boost Mobile is never is stock both 16gb and 64gb. I have been trying everyday to order one for two weeks now. what is the deal? Does anybody know.

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    Replies
    1. Most likely cuz they want to sell out on the 5S before restocking the SE. And cuz boost sells it for $100 less than the competition.

      Delete
    2. The 5SE is in short supply. A friend who ordered one at the local Apple Store on release day won't be getting it until next week. Sprint is probably filling demand from postpaid customers before making them available on prepaid.

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    3. I wanted a SE to use with a Sprint MVNO before April 17 deadline, but it's too late. Maybe Boost is restricting SE sales for that reason.

      Delete
  14. Is that $100 per line or $100 per account? I wonder if the unlimited plan is eligible for the Group Save discount?

    The LG Risio and the Moto E look very similar on paper but the Moto E costs $20 more. Has anyone had any experience with both phones? Not sure which is the better choice for my kids.

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    1. The credit is per line. I've never used the Risio but the Moto E is my favorite entry level phone.

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    2. I have both. Moto E is better except for no LED flash. But for the promo price of $10 (upgrade) the Risio is ok.

      Delete
  15. Its $100 for T-Mobile Based Carriers and $50 for other carriers that are not at&t based. As for the cricket wireless....they made a great choice by doing a truly unlimited plan on at&t's network. In my 17 years of experience l see you can never make everyone happy. I have yet to have any issues with at&t coverage but there bills is another question...but with cricket that part is solved...great price ranges...Two Thumbs Up Cricket Wireless!!!!

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  16. I ported to Cricket and once I burn through my port promo credits, I will port out.

    Cricket is so slow, it's unbelievable. I travel all of the country and in most days, I get 400kbps-500kbps if I am lucky. During late night, or super early morning, or middle of nowhere, then I can hit close to the speeds of their claims.

    This is throttled like crazy and has the lowest priority on AT&T network. Sprint's MVNO is blazingly fast in comparison.

    Cricket also has the worst customer service - they can never resolve anything at all. Buyer beware...

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  17. Cricket gets throttled so hard when you go to places like a stadium or mall. I'm not sure how useful unlimited will be if you can't use it. I can't tell you how many times I've had 1000ms pings and 0.1kbit speeds. Don't be fooled with all the "coverage" nonsense, right now T-Mobile has expanded very far and they offer way more benefits (WiFi calling, VoLTE, tethering).

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    1. Coverage isn't nonsense: it is,the most important thing. Without it you get 0 bars, which is still so much slower than the worst Cricket. T-Mobile is still so far behind.

      If you want better than Cricket, get regular AT&T or Verizon... not a significantly inferior uncarrier.

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    2. No, coverage is nonsense. You only need services in the places you travel, not the places you 'might' go. For most people that T-Mobile. Cricket is too slow and you might as well have 'no service' because their coverage isn't worth anything.

      Delete
    3. Coverage is first and foremost. It's everything, not "nonsense". If you can't connect to a tower, you might as well be holding a carved bar of soap in your hand instead of a phone. You can't get around this fact.

      Everything else is secondary.

      As for the misleading "you only need services where you might travel", the good carriers don't care where you travel:They just work. T-Mobile is a poor choice for most people in fact, which is why customers prefer much better carriers to T-Mobile.


      Most people reject T-Mobile: check total customers on all 4 major networks. The people know a good network is better than a bad one.

      Sorry, your claim that having a good network doesn't matter fails.

      Delete
  18. I will never use Cricket again. The data connection was slow and often would not connect in good coverage areas. The reps were useless. Switched to Consumer Cellular and love their service and support. Cricket was so bad that I would pick Net10 AT&T and deal with all their issues before Cricket.

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    1. Good choice, then. Anything Verizon based, or that uses unthrottled AT&T (such as "Consumer Cellular") is better than Cricket, while anything Sprint or T-Mobile based is definitely worse.

      Delete
    2. "Good choice, then. Anything Verizon based, or that uses unthrottled AT&T (such as "Consumer Cellular") is better than Cricket, while anything Sprint or T-Mobile based is definitely worse."

      Maybe in your experience (or reading of blogs). For my locale this is pure nonsense as the carriers would rank T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T. Cricket was pretty worthless where I live.

      Delete
  19. Agreed about throttled... I absolutely hate Cricket. You can have coverage in every hole on this earth but if it's slow to un-usable, then its un-usable. I came from T-Mo and those people blast about T-Mo coverage, you haven't been a customer lately or you are using a really old phone. I travel all over for work and T-Mo has coverage in all the right places... I had a multi-mode multi-band phone and I had very good speed - I can honestly not recall any spot that I didn't have coverage and I really travel very heavily.

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    1. I'd consider MetroPCS once it has a ready for prime time network. Having to drive a hundred miles to even FIND any bars on T-Mobile ( through territory covered by the other 3) doesn't cut it.

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    2. T-Mobile's own map shows them still far behind the true national carriers.

      Delete
  20. For those comparing Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS, here is one more thing to add to the comparison. With Cricket Wireless you can make calls to the US Virgin Islands without spending extra. With MetroPCS, you have to purchase their monthly $10 World Calling option, and this is only available with the $50 and $60 plans.

    I had a MetroPCS plan about a year ago, which is why I know this. I wish MetroPCS would not hide this fact and instead have text somewhere on their site that states what locations are included in their unlimited talk and text for their plans. On Cricket Wireless' website and usually for most other cell phone provider sites, one can find this information quite easily.

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    1. That doesn't sound right. I was in St Croix, US VI last month and T-Mobile had native service there and I was able to use data at no extra charge.

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    2. That doesn't sound right. I was in St Croix, US VI last month and T-Mobile had native service there and I was able to use data at no extra charge.

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    3. Rob is wrong; he did not bother to check the MetroPCS coverage map. They cover the US V.I.

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    4. T-mobile coverage is spotty

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    5. Dennis, perhaps something changed lately. If it did, that's great as I can finally begin looking to see what MetroPCS has to offer.

      I had MetroPCS service from 2012 to June 2015. Never have I been able to make a call to the USVI from the mainland United States. Also, I was in St. Croix in Nov. 2014, and was unable to make any calls to anyone in St. Croix or the United States, despite changing my plan from the $40 plan to the $50 plan and purchasing the $10 Worldwide calling option because there was some extra step (I think call some phone number to active something) that I forgot to do. I called Metro when I was down there and they told me that it was because I didn't do that extra step (whatever it was). I had to use a calling card when in the USVI and when I returned to the mainland that same month to be able to make calls to the USVI and from the USVI.

      If you or those that have MetroPCS can confirm that you are able to make calls to the US Virgin Islands from the United States, I would appreciate that.

      Furthermore:

      I had found a Facebook post years ago where someone was complaining about this, but can't locate it anymore.

      Here is a Wikipedia page where someone also mentions the USVI not being covered under the basic plan with MetroPCS (read the sentence that starts with "At the Metro Guy in Bold): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AMetroPCS#Nationwide_Calling

      Also, why is it then that when you go here: https://www.metropcs.com/added-services/10-world-calling.html and click on the links for "Call landline phones in these countries" and call "Call landline phones in these countries" the US Virgin Islands is listed there? If one could have already called there without the Worldwide Calling addon, it shouldn't be there.

      And finally, there is no text anywhere on MetroPCS' website that states where the Unlimited Talk, Text and Data applies to, correct?

      Delete
    6. Here is a comment from someone in March 26, 2015 that also states they were not able to call the USVI and how MetroPCS and Tmobile prepaid considers them an international location: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/tmonews/metropcs_intros_30_unlimited_talk_text_and_data_prepaid_plan/#comment-1929389919

      Delete
    7. You were using the old MetroPCS CDMA service at least part of that time. T-Mobile acquired Metro in 2013 and didn't completely shut down the CDMA network until May 2015.

      I don't think Metro CDMA ever had service in the US VI. I would expect the current T-Mobile GSM based MetroPCS service would support the same coverage and calling area as T-Mobile itself.

      I just called a hotel in the Virgin Islands using T-Mobile prepaid PayGo. The call went through and it was charged as a domestic call

      Delete
  21. Non-cricket device could use free hotspot. For example, foreign phones, T-Mobile branded phones.

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  22. I am experiencing more and more calls going directly to voicemail on Cricket (presumably due to network prioritization). It is getting to the point of being unacceptable.

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    1. I've had to set up conditional call forwarding to Google Voice to avoid this issue. Cricket deprioritized calling too, its getting ridiculous.

      Delete
  23. Do Cricket phones work on Att and Att MVNOs without unlocking?

    Can anyone recommend an economical source for unlock codes for the Cricket LG Risio or Moto E? Thank you.

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  24. I would like to know this as well as those are the only two decent cheap Android phones on Cricket. The 640 looks tempting but Microsoft unlock codes are costly. LG unlock codes used to be dirt cheap but recent LG phones have expensive unlock codes.

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  25. Are you sure the $100 port in credit isn't a mistake? I can't find anything on Cricket's website about it

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  26. I switched to T-Mobile from Cricket. I brought my old unlocked Note 5. I am in the Cincinnati market. We are in a test market for T-Mobile. The plan I am on comes to 113.85 a month total tax and all fees. My plan includes unlimited calls, texts and truly unlimited 4g LTE data. This 113.85 covers 2 lines I also get 16 gigs of hotspot on each line with this plan. If this plan rolls out nationally Cricket with their Mich slower speeds and much higher prices will have a problem. Either way I am grandfaghered in now. Go go back to Cricket would not make since. I hope this goes national. It is a good plan and would force cricket to come up with a better plan or lose customers.

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  27. "If this plan rolls out nationally Cricket with their Mich slower speeds and much higher prices will have a problem"

    On average, Cricket isn't slower at all when you look at half the country having 0mbps of T-Mobile, while having at least 3 or so mbps of Cricket in the vast majority of places.

    However, when it comes to Ohio (where you are), it is one of the minority of states in the US covered well by T-Mobile. You should be good if you stick around your own state.

    I'm in the rest of the country, myself. Most states are poorly covered by T-Mobile. It's T-Mobile that needs to "up its game" and bridge the still huge coverage gap. Once that happens, if T-Mobile and Cricket have the same speeds that they do now, T-Mobile could well "smoke" Cricket.

    For now though, blazing fast T-Mobile speeds only if I am careful to find a place where it actually works won't cut it.

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