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Updated: Cricket to Bring Back Unlimited 2 Plan, Increase Data on $30 and $40 plans

Today AT&T announced changes to its Cricket Wireless prepaid plans. Effective Sunday Nov. 5:

  • The $30/month unlimited talk, messaging and data plan will get 2 GB instead of 1 GB of high speed data per month. 
  • The $40/month unlimited talk, messaging and data plan will get its high speed data allowance increased from 4 GB to 5 GB
  • The $55 Unlimited 2 plan and 2 for $80/mo Unlimited  promotion are returning for a "limited time".
As before, Unlimited 2 includes unlimited talk, messaging and "high speed" data that's throttled to 3 mbps (with other Cricket plans, "high speed" data is 8 mbps). Video is further throttled to "SD quality (about 480p) and data is subject to deprioritization after 22 GB.

Additional lines of Unlimited 2 are available at $25 each for lines 2 through 5. That means that two lines of Unlimited 2 are $80, which Cricket is advertising as 2 for  $80/mo Unlimited. Unlimited 2 is not eligible for Cricket's regular Group Save discounts which are expected to change for the worse on Nov 5. It's not eligible for the $5/mo auto pay credit either. Update 11/5: Cricket's website now says that Unlimited 2 is eligible for the auto pay discount after all.  Unlimited 2 is eligible for the $10 hotspot add-on which provides unlimited hotspot with the first 8 GB at 3 mbps.

Today's announcement also leaves the future of Cricket's $50/month 8 GB plan very much in doubt. The elimination of that plan was part of the same rumor that correctly predicted the $30 and $40 plan data increases, the return of Unlimited 2 and the worsening of the Group save discount. There's no mention of the $50 plan in the announcement, but mobile operators usually only announce positive changes in advance.

The  $50 plan is Cricket's least expensive plan that includes unlimited Canadian and Mexican calling, texting and roaming and also the least expensive plan that's eligible for the $10/month hotspot add-on. I suspect that it's Cricket's most popular plan. Eliminating it would force new customers who want Canada, Mexico calling or roaming or hotspot to choose the $55 plan, or even the $60 plan if they also want 8 mbps data. If the $50 plan is eliminated, current customers on that plan will likely be grandfathered and be able to keep the plan.

Update, 3 PM PT, 11/3: John from YouTube channel Magic Tech Review, just sent me a new screencap from Cricket's Hoopla intranet informing dealers that the $50 8 GB plan will not be available to new users starting Nov 5.  Cricket's legacy $60 12 GB plan is also being grandfathered Nov 5.

Update 11 AM, 11/5: Cricket's web page has been updated to reflect the changes. Current plans are now:

  • $25 Unlimited talk and text, no data
  • $30 Unlimited talk, messaging and data, first 2 GB at high (8 mbps) speeds
  • $40 Unlimited talk, messaging and data, first 5 GB at high (8 mbps) speeds
  • $55 Unlimited talk, messaging and high speed (3 mbps) data
  • $60 Unlimited talk, messaging and high speed (8 mbps) data

The $55 and $60 plans include unlimited Mexican and Canadian, talk, messaging and roaming and are the only current plans eligible for the $10 8 GB hotspot add on. The $40 plan is now eligible for all international calling add ons, none of which include international roaming.

The Group Save Plan discount is now:
  • Second line gets a $10/month discount 
  • Third line gets a $20/month discount for a total discount of $30 
  • The fourth line gets a $20/month discount for a total discount of $50 
  • The fifth line gets a $20 discount for a total discount of $70
Source: Cricket, Image: Facebook

42 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. AT&T postpaid charges $60 plus the usual postpaid taxes and fees for data at 3mbps. If you want full speed data on AT&T postpaid it'll cost you $90. Even Verizon postpaid and prepaid offers full speed data for less at $80. With all that in mind its no surprise that Cricket drop the speed on their unlimited plan. The real question is how long the 8mbps unlimited plan will be around.

    ReplyDelete
  2. MetroPCS has faster data, better promotions and free roaming on AT&T. Which means anywhere Cricket has coverage MetroPCS can roam. Any coverage gaps in the MetroPCS/T-Mobile network are covered by AT&T roaming. What's the point of choosing Cricket?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Metro pcs does not offer data domestic roaming, only text and talk.

      Delete
    2. Cricket has data coverage in more rural areas. MetroPCS has better voice/sms coverage when you add roaming on AT&T and regional carriers. There are quite a few places in Western states where AT&T is still on HSPA/+ and T-Mobile has LTE. You can overlay 2-4 networks' coverage using the Coverage? app, which is popular with RV owners.

      Delete
    3. "Which means anywhere Cricket has coverage MetroPCS can roam"

      That's misleading. The only roaming Metro has onto AT&T is text and voice. It does NOT include data.

      "What's the point of choosing Cricket?"

      People might choose Cricket over MetroPCS if they want to use data in most of the US, instead of just half.

      They might choose MetroPCS over Cricket if they don't need a service with reliable data.

      That's the way it is now. T-Mobile says it will blanket the nation with data coverage by 2 years from now, which means that MetroPCS will have great data coverage. But that is then, not now.

      Delete
    4. Total prepaid customers as of the end of last quarter were:
      T-Mobile 20.5 million
      AT&T 15.14 million

      And many of the T-Mobile prepaid MVNO subscribers have no roaming. They don't need it, so they don't pay extra for coverage they won't use.
      The idea that everybody should pick a carrier based on the total square miles covered on its nationwide map is silly. People aren't that stupid. If you have to go everywhere in the US, NO land-based carrier will always have coverage (buy a satcom device and service).

      Delete
    5. "And many of the T-Mobile prepaid MVNO subscribers have no roaming. They don't need it, so they don't pay extra for coverage they won't use."

      Or they are suffering with poor coverage in order to save money.

      Most people do pick a carrier based on nationwide coverage because they aren't stupid. They choose such a carrier based on coverage because they actually NEED the coverage.

      The proportion of Americans that never leave their homes is really rather small. For the rest... for typical Americans a good network that covers almost all the nation fits the bill.

      Delete
    6. You don't get to decide what 'fits the bill' for prepaid customers. They do. They pick the coverage they need, not what you think they should:

      T-Mobile 20.5 million
      AT&T 15.14 million

      Most real people prefer T-Mobile's prepaid brands and MVNOs over AT&Ts. They got the coverage they need; a very small percentage of them switch.

      Delete
    7. Why stop at nationwide coverage? What about worldwide coverage? Who offers that?

      Delete
    8. Total AT&T customers: 140 million
      Total T-Mobile customers: 70 million.

      Twice as many real people prefer using AT&T over T-Mobile at this time, but the gap is narrowing due to T-Mobile's coverage increases. People pick carriers based on the coverage they need, not based on coverage you think they should (and not on your moralizing that it is bad of people to want to use their mobile phones outside of their homes)

      ------------

      "What about worldwide coverage? Who offers that?"

      Less than 5% travel overseas, compared to the overwhelming majority of Americans to travel to other states. At this time, Americans need good nationwide service that works when they travel in the US. The need for this worldwide does exist, but it is rather small at this time in history.

      Delete
    9. I live in a tmobile dead zone with no att roaming even though att has great coverage here (hence, I'm on an att MVNO)... Att added more prepaid customers last quarter than tmobile. If I got tmobile coverage I would never go back to att but on att I stay until that make-believe tmobile "end of 2017" map becomes reality - more like the end of 2018 :/

      Delete
  3. Let me get this clear. The $40 plan with 5GB with auto pay gets reduced to $35?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Also Boost has the 5 lines with unlimited data for $100. Cricket is $55 more!!
    What the heck is going on with Cricket?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too many freeloaders

      Delete
    2. You won't be able to come up with even one freeloader ... It's impossible, in fact. All Cricket plans are paid.

      Delete
  5. Cricket should change their name to Germ Wireless to match the new mascot.
    Apparently the old mascot was too buggy, just like their proxy servers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 3mbit speedcap, oh lord. This is the kind of anti-consumer non-sense that should be rejected by consumers. Anyone that supports Net Neutrality should be against arbitrary caps. This is pathway to up-charge for "HD" video like the big carriers. Soon enough, its "social media" and "messaging" packs. I bet they got plans to offer premium DirectTVNow add-ons. They already charge for $10 extra for tethering. Cricket is the worst of AT&T under a budget brand. Don't reward these scumbags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone who supports net neutrality?

      I do, but it is pointless. That ship has sailed. It's like supporting the gold standard, or the prohibition amendment.

      Delete
    2. 3mbit speedcap is not all bad, heck .. it's like 5G in Sprint land.

      Delete
    3. Saw this and ran Speedtest. 44Mbps on my Android at home. Last week my wife’s iPhone 6s hit 63 and 83 Mbps at our daughter’s house. On Sprint. Cricket lemmings can only dream of speeds that fast.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, the networks can't handle the hoards of people watching hours per day of HD video with their unlimited data plans. The networks also cannot handle people using mobile data for as a replacement for wired internet. Network infrastructure costs money to upgrade to meet the constantly escalating demand. If you want to hog it, expect to pay more money for the privilege. Life owes you nothing.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous 4:28 AM

      I doubt you'd feel the same way if Cricket started charging extra to visit your favorite websites. When you're paying money, you have the power to control the terms. It's really ignorant to suggest we all just roll over and accept it. The networks will support whatever consumers demand. If you demand less, you get less. For some reason Cricket customers love getting less. These are not acceptable trade-offs.

      Delete
  7. These new data allowance take effect immediately or at the next cycle renewal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regarding the 44Mps, I rather be throttled at 3Mps and have be able to use the internet and talk on the phone at the same time. What good is the high speed if you cannot consistently get it on the road.

      Delete
    2. You are a cricket man. Talk and surf slowly on the road. Please don’t kill anybody.

      Delete
  8. Takes effect Nov 5th but data increase will show on your next billing cycle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How convenient. Bills cycles here on the 4th.

      Delete
  9. cricket now charges $25 fee to upgrade your phone so instead why not to try metro for a few month and if you don't like it unlock your phone and go back to cricket

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hotspot Fee: Smart plan users can pay $10/month to enable hotspot on iPhones and a limited number of Cricket branded Android phones. Hotspot is blocked on other plans and devices although workarounds exist for many non-Cricket devices.
      Activation Fee: in-store $25, no fee for online activations.
      Device Upgrade Fee: in-store $25, no fee online.
      Late Fee: $5 applies to payments 2 to 29 days past plan due date. $10 for multi-line accounts starting
      Reactivation Fee: $15 applies to payments 30 and 59 days past your plan due date. After 60 days, account will be canceled and can't be reactivated.
      Non-Compliant Return Fee: $25 charged for device returns that are damaged or missing their original packaging.
      Phone number change: $15
      Customer Assistance Fee: Making a payment with a customer service representative: $5 ($3 after April 23, 2017).
      Customer Assistance Fee: making a payment at a Cricket store or dealer $3 (starting April 23, 2017)
      Bridge Pay Fee: Bridge Pay allows users to split their monthly charge into two smaller payments. The customer pays half the plan cost plus the Bridge Pay fee and gets seven days to pay the rest. The Bridge Pay Fee is $5 (increasing to $10 for multi-line accounts only on April 23, 2017).

      They say they offer a "Premium Experience." What they mean is that you will pay a premium almost every time you need a change. Wake up the guy who always posts that only deadbeats pay Cricket junk fees. I think you'd have to be a deadhead to settle for this junk AND throttling. That little germ mascot is caught at you for a good reason.

      Delete
    2. Wait, WHAT? A current subscriber to Cricket has to PAY a $25 (call it a penalty) to pop a SIM card in a different phone or PURCHASE an upgraded phone from them?
      Sounds like Att runs mvno's same way they lie & rip people off that get suckered into their dishonest satellite TV services.
      That 140 million "device" quote above ain't gonna sustain as more people leave satellite TV services & will find a new phone service as well.

      Delete
    3. Swapping SIMs doesn't cost anything. The $25 upgrade fee (which applies to online as well as in-store purchases) is only charged when a current customer buys a new phone from Cricket.

      Delete
    4. "(which applies to online as well as in-store purchases)"
      OK Dennis. Update your Cricket review with these words.

      Delete
    5. I just updated the Cricket Profile post with the current upgrade fee policy.

      Delete
  10. Funny how T-Mobile gets constantly criticized for being too small to build a network good enough to compete with AT&T and Verizon yet it seems AT&T isn't big enough to build a network with the capacity the modern world needs. The result is the only carrier with two prepaid brands with speedcaps (Cricket and AT&T Prepaid) and the only carrier with a speedcapped postpaid plan. Not even broken Sprint speedcaps their plans.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cricket subscribers didn't really need a data increase.

    Their buckets, coverage and data speeds were already stellar.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The only valuable plan here is the 5GB for $35 with autopay plan. For AT&T coverage its not bad.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Correction to the post, the $55 Unlimited2 plan is eligible for the $5 auto-pay discount.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Looking at the Cricket website today I get the following impressions, the $10 hotspot add-on seems to be available on all plans, the 8mbps speed cap appears to be gone and so does the $5 autopay discount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see no such thing. What Cricket URL are you looking at?

      Delete
  15. Still no sign of unlimited 2 being 2 lines for $80 or additional lines for $25/ line...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hmmm. Maybe they decided against it in favor of the auto pay discount since the announcement said the auto pay wouldnt be available but is (which would suck)

    ReplyDelete
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