Owned by AT&T, Cricket Wireless is known for its outstanding coverage and affordable multi-line rates. In operation since 1999, they’re one of the older carriers still in operation. Retail locations make it easy to find support and upgrade options when needed as well.
All plans are prepaid. Options range between $30 and $60 per month with additional discounts available for each additional line added to your plan. As a prepaid provider, you can enjoy access to 4G without worrying about credit checks or contracts.
Should you need a phone, you’ll find options ranging from basic flip models to the latest smartphone flagships. While there’s no device financing option, phone prices through Cricket Wireless are very competitive. Already have a phone? Their universal SIMs make bringing your own device simple.
- Worry-Free Data: Providing a set amount of high-speed 4G data, these plans fall back to 2G speeds when you’ve reached your bandwidth limit instead of charging costly overage fees.
- Multi-line plans: Each line you add to your plan increases your discount, making Cricket Wireless is ideal for families looking for multiple phones.
- Unlimited Talk and Text: All plans include unlimited minutes and text in the US.
- Unlimited Data: Unlimited data plans offer up to 22GB of full-speed 4G LTE data with speeds throttled afterward during heavy-use times.
- Mexico and Canada Roaming: Upper-tier plans including calling, texting and roaming in both Mexico and Canada.
Awards and Recognitions
How’s the Network Coverage and Speed?
Cricket Wireless uses the AT&T Network to deliver service. According to their website, the AT&T network covers 99% of American’s in the continental US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Data from OpenSignal breaks down network types as follows:
- 70% LTE (4G)
- 22% HSPA+ (4G)
- 7% HSPA (3G)
You can check coverage and network types in your area at their support page.
In the 2016 “Fastest Mobile Networks” study, AT&T ranked third. Average national LTE download speeds measured at 19.01Mbits per second and uploads measured at 9.18Mbits per second.
Additional data from OpenSignal shows average 4G download and upload rates of 8 and 5.1Mbits per second. 3G data was significantly slower at 1.8Mbits per second for downloads and 0.7Mbits per second for uploads.
However, Cricket Mobile notes on their Mobile Broadband Information page that data speeds are limited to 8MB per second on all plans as of April 2017.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
All Cricket Wireless plans include coverage within the US at no additional charge.
If you frequently travel to Canada or Mexico, their Smart, Pro and Unlimited plans include high-speed data, calls and texts with no roaming fees at no additional charge.
At the time of writing, roaming outside North America isn’t possible with Cricket Wireless. You also cannot add Canada or Mexico roaming to lower-tier plans through an add-on.
For more information, consult their International Terms and Conditions.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All Cricket Wireless plans include calling to any number in the United States.
For calls outside the United States, fees will vary based on your plan and calling destination. Smart, Pro and Unlimited plans include calling to Canada and Mexico at no additional charge as well as unlimited texting to 38 countries.
Other options include:
- Cricket International: $5 per month unlocks unlimited calling to landlines in 36 countries.
- Cricket International Extra: $15 per month unlocks unlimited calling to landlines in 36 countries, unlimited MMS to 36 countries and 1,000 minutes to mobile phones in 32 countries.
If you only place calls to a single country, they also offer country-specific add-ons for $10 to $15 featuring a set amount of minutes each month plus unlimited SMS and MMS.
For more information, consult their Add-On Features page.
Can I Tether My Phone?
This will depend on your monthly plan. At the time of writing, only the Smart and Pro plans support tethering. You’ll also need to pay $10 per month to unlock the feature. All data used counts toward your mobile data allotment.
Keep in mind that non-mobile devices--such as PCs or gaming consoles--will use data much quicker than the typical smartphone. If you tether, monitor usage carefully to avoid added fees.
For more information, consult the Cricket Mobile Hotspot Terms and Conditions.
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
No. Cricket Wireless does not support data rollover on any of their plans.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
All plans offer a standard set of features, including voicemail, call-waiting and access to Cricket Wireless apps for managing usage and account features.
Additional add-ons include:
- Cricket Protect: Enjoy protection from accidental damage and phone theft for $7 per month.
- Deezer: Cricket’s exclusive streaming music service offers your favorite tracks on-demand for $6 per month.
- Data Top-Ups: Need extra data? You can add 1GB to your plan for $10.
Can I Bring My Own Device?
Yes! Most unlocked GSM phones will work with this carrier.
- The phone must be unlocked
- The phone must not be on the IMEI blacklist
- The phone must support a SIM
You can find full details on what to expect and if your device is supported at their Bring Your Own Phone page.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
No! Since there’s no contracts or term commitments, you don’thave to worry about fees if you switch providers.
Can I Port My Number To or From Cricket Wireless?
Yes! Both landline and wireless numbers might be eligible for transfer.
General requirements include:
- The account from which you wish to transfer the number must be active and in good standing
- You must be able to provide the current account number, name of the account holder, PIN or password and billing address of the account to complete the transfer.
The process can take between 1 hour and 5 days to complete depending on your situation.
For more information and to check eligibility, consult their Set Up Transfer Online page.
Will They Unlock My Phone?
Yes! They will unlock phones at no cost. Requirements include:
- You must be a current or former customer
- The phone must be locked to the Cricket Wireless network
- The device must be active for at least six months prior to unlocking
- The phone must not be on the IMEI blacklist
To start the unlock process, contact Cricket or visit one of their retail locations.
For other questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check out Cricket Wireless Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
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