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Cricket Wireless Phone Plan Review: Service Coverage & Hotspot Info

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 1/2019

Cricket Wireless Phone Plan ReviewCricket Wireless operates on AT&T Network, which also owns it. This means that you can obtain massive 4G LTE network coverage at affordable prices. Cricket utilizes all the infrastructure and towers of AT&T but costs you less for it.

Additionally, Cricket is easy to comprehend. You can go to their site and obtain all the plans and prices in one place. This makes it an attractive carrier for most people. The plans are direct with prices inclusive of fees and taxes to avoid surprises during the payment of the bill.

Cricket is also ideal for families. In the case of adding several lines via the Group Savings plans, families can benefit more when compared with other carrier plans. Cricket’s plans provide a good data amount on every line. A family of four members can incur the cost of $100 for data of 10GB. Even though the company does not provide the rollover family plan by AT&T, you get to save $60 every month with Cricket. You just need to keep your children in line when it comes to data limits.

However, some people have an issue with Cricket’s speeds that reach up to 8 Mbps in comparison to AT&T LTE network’s speeds that are up to five times faster. But for a majority of the people who like to surf without obsessing about speeds, Cricket is ideal.

Cricket’s speed is not just perfect for surfing, but it is also great for streaming music and movies. For instance, Netflix only needs at least 0.5 Mbps speed. But if you want an excellent picture quality, you only need 3.0 Mbps. Therefore, Cricket’s 8Mbps is all you need.

Table of Contents

Pros

  • It is value driven with excellent prices, particularly when it comes to numerous lines.
  • Prices are inclusive of fees and taxes to avoid surprises while settling the bill.
  • Great coverage
  • No Fees for data coverage and speeds are lowered after use of high-speed data allowance
  • Bringing your phone to its service is easy
  • No need for credit checks

Cons

  • Slower speeds with potential for poor video and music streaming
  • Special features that are not within international calling options are limited
  • The requirement for paying full price upfront for Cricket phones and there is no payment plans or monthly installments provided.
Cricket Wireless Phone Plan Review

Cricket’s Position on Pricing

During picking of a cell phone plan, a majority of the people want excellent prices and good coverage. Cricket Wireless meets both of these needs. Obtaining the impressive coverage by AT&T at low fees is something for individuals but hard for families. Single line plans begin at $30 per month for a gigabyte of data. This is comparable to the prices offered by other small-scale carriers. But other carriers run off T-Mobile and Sprint networks, which comprise comparable coverage to AT&T. But they may not be as good as Verizon and AT&T when it comes to remote areas.

Cricket also provides “All-in” pricing that includes taxes and all sub-charges. When compared to all other carriers, nothing comes to close to beating Cricket’s four lines at 2.5GB each for as low as $100 per month. All plans by Cricket have unlimited countrywide calling and text.

Family Plan Comparison

Carrier Comparison of Wireless Family Plan, 4 lines Pricing

Cricket 20G (5GB for every line) $110/month

Metro Unlimited data $100/month

Boost Unlimited data $100/month

Ting 8GB to be shared across all lines $147/month

International Travelers

It is important to note that Unlimited Talk & Text and Unlimited International Texting to and from Canada and Mexico are part of Cricket’s Unlimited plans and Smart plans or offered as an add-on for an extra cost. Since they are a small-scale carrier, they fail to offer many unique features such as shared data and roll-over options that can easily be overlooked by those who love the simplicity and value of basic data plans.

Cricket as a Prepaid Carrier

Before beginning your data plan, you are supposed to pay for it in advance. Through prepaid payments, you are aware of your costs upfront as well as avoid credit checks. Cricket does not charge coverage fees. However, you will receive lower speeds after you exceed the data you have been allocated.

The company has a great variety of premium phones that sell at the retail price suggested by the standard manufacturer. However, you must consider its massive selection of affordable handhelds when getting your children their first mobile phones. Additionally, buying Cricket phones will not incur any debt since payment is needed upfront. This ensures you are free to change carriers if you get a better deal, in addition to the fact that they lack a service plan contract. But since the company has excellent coverage and ideal prices, it will be hard to find carriers that can offer a better option.

Cricket’s Coverage

Cricket’s access to all the infrastructure of AT&T allows the company to have cellular towers in the whole country. Whether you are in urban or remote areas, the coverage is powerful. Even though all the four primary carriers have fully covered all the main city markets, coverage by AT&T will offer the best reception on the country roads.

RootMetrics scores refer to the quarterly scores offered by an independent agency that tests the performance and speeds of the carriers on a routine basis across the country. AT&T has been a consistent number two in the country, and its score is only slightly lower from Verizon, the number one.

It is good to consider your phone when looking for great coverage. If you have an old model, it may lack the technology to link to the 4G frequency towers and as a consequence will not obtain a signal.

Cricket Wireless Phone Plan Review

Coverage Comparison

Sprint 93.9% score of coverage and reliability

T-Mobile 95.1% score of coverage and reliability

Verizon 97.5% score of coverage and reliability

AT&T 96.3% score of coverage and reliability

What to Consider with Cricket Wireless

1. Hot Spots-Tethering

The Mobile Hotspot by Cricket converts your mobile phone into a WiFi hotspot to allow you to connect your laptop and other devices to the internet. Since not every phone has this feature, remember to verify compatibility. This feature can be included in your line for an extra charge.

2. International Roaming & Calling

Only unlimited and the 8GB data plans have unlimited talk and text and unlimited international texting to and from Canada and Mexico. You can obtain an add-on feature for extra costs and get unlimited calling to 38 nations from the United States and unlimited video/picture messaging globally.

Cricket offers roaming options that are limited, and you will need to consider this if you travel often.

3. Costs

The costs are low where the unlimited data plan starts from $55 per month while the prepaid option starts from $25 per month.

4. Referral Program

Cricket has a referral program where you can earn $25 credit for signing your friend up. Your friends will also earn the $25 credit. You will send a special referral code from your myCricket account, which can be via their app or website. But the old and new customer will receive $25 after two months if the accounts will still be active. However, you can refer a maximum of ten people due to their $250 limit on the offer per line per calendar year. The offer started on April 22nd, 2018.

5. Cricket has Over 9 Million Subscribers

The service was acquired by AT&T in 2015 when the company had only 4.5 million active subscribers. In just four years, the company has doubled its customer base to 9 million clients. One of the factors that contributed to this growth is being ranked number one in the wireless category in the yearly Customer Experience Index study by Forester in 2017.

6. The Phones that Run on Cricket

Cricket supports numerous popular smartphones such as Nokia, iPhone, Samsung, and others. You can also take your unlocked Android or Apple phone and only pay $10 to obtain a Cricket SIM card.

There is even a variety of free phones that you can get after porting your current number from a different carrier to Cricket. However, when porting, you might face challenges if you are porting from a small-scale carrier. However, you can go to a Cricket store and look for an associate who is good at getting things done.

Additionally, in case you are setting auto-pay for your monthly bill, consider doing it on a credit card that will pay to replace your damaged or stolen cell phone.

How to Contact Cricket

You can reach the company through social media, phone call, or their website. On social media, their Twitter handle is @Cricketnation while the Facebook username is cricketnation. You can also call them between 6:30 am and 12:00 am through 1-800-274-2538. Their website page is cricketwireless.com. You can also download the company’s apps from Android’s Play store and iPhone’s Apple store.

FAQ

Committing to a wireless service provider is a financial investment as well as a lifestyle choice. How you prefer to manage your resources is up to you. Everyone has their own way of balancing their bank account, and wireless providers acknowledge those issues. That is why many different wireless companies such as Cricket Wireless offer a variety of plans with certain limitations.

Cricket Wireless Basic Information

Before making any decision, you should know the general information about this company like who they are, what they offer, and how they can bring you value.

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Who owns Cricket Wireless?

Cricket wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T. The company was founded in 1999 by Leap Wireless International before AT&T acquired the company in 2013.

What is Cricket Wireless?

Cricket Wireless is a prepaid wireless service provider that is owned by AT&T. The company provides wireless service to many different phones and covers the span of the United States.

Is Cricket Wireless good?

Cricket wireless is a cheap alternative to other wireless service providers and the company offers both individual and family plans

How does Cricket Wireless work?

Cricket Wireless offers transmission services to wireless devices after connecting to their network. You must register with the company to connect to the network.

Is Cricket Wireless really unlimited data?

You can opt to get unlimited data for up to 4 lines for $100/month. There are a variety of other options to choose from.

Is Cricket Wireless down?

No, Cricket Wireless still provided wireless services to customers. It currently owned and operated by AT&T as a subsidiary company.

What is the song in the Cricket Wireless commercial?

The Cricket Wireless song is called “Dance Dance” by Kungs. This commercial played during the Super Bowl of 2017.

Who is Cricket Wireless affiliated with?

Cricket Wireless is affiliated with AT&T which is the parent company. Both companies share the same network and towers and cover the same scope of geographical area.

What company owns cricket wireless?

Cricket Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T which controls its resource allocation and limit decision making.

What provider does Cricket Wireless use?

Cricket Wireless operates as its own provider, but the company is owned by AT&T, who is responsible for allocating resources to Cricket Wireless. Both companies share the same network.

Who bought Cricket Wireless?

AT&T bought Cricket Wireless on 2013 for 1.2 billion USD from Leap Wireless who founded the company in 1999.

Who is the CEO of Cricket Wireless?

John Dwyer is the current CEO of Cricket Wireless. The former CEO of the company was Jennifer Van Buskirk.

How to email Cricket Wireless?

Your 10-digit-phone-number is the extension to the @sms.mycricket.com URL. You can send your emails by combining the two, which is your individual Cricket email.

Where is Cricket Wireless based?

The Headquarters of Cricket Wireless is located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The company was founded on Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Where can I buy a Cricket Wireless sim card?

You can purchase a Cricket Wireless sim card from multiple online vendors or you can go to your nearest Cricket Wireless store to purchase it there.

Does AT&T own Cricket Wireless?

Yes, AT&T is the parent company of Cricket Wireless and shares the same network with its parent company.

Cricket Wireless Functionalities and Coverage

Knowing how a wireless service provider works is crucial before making any decision. Find the answers to common questions regarding features and service coverage in this section.

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Does Cricket Wireless offer hotspot?

Yes, however, you must pay an additional $10 per month to allow you to use your Cricket Wireless phones as a hotspot.

Is Cricket Wireless GSM?

Cricket Wireless used to run on CDMA, however, AT&T decided to shut down Cricket’s CDMA network to convert to GSM.

Is Cricket Wireless a CDMA carrier?

Cricket wireless is no longer a CDMA carrier since its parent company, AT&T, switched the carrier to GSM.

What bands does Cricket Wireless use?

Cricket Wireless used 2 and 5 bands for its 3G speed service and 2, 4, 12, and 17 for its 4G LTE speed services on multiple frequencies.

What phones are compatible with Cricket Wireless?

There are a variety of phones that are compatible with Cricket Wireless including Sony Xperia, Samsung Galaxy S7, and Huawei Mate.

What towers does Cricket Wireless use?

Cricket Wireless matches the same coverage as AT&T, so it uses the same towers utilized by its parent company.

Does Cricket Wireless have Wi-Fi calling?

Currently, Cricket Wireless enabled Wi-Fi calling, so if you have a Wi-Fi compatible device registered to Cricket Wireless, you can call via Wi-Fi.

How does Cricket Wireless bridge pay work?

You can either setup BridgePay at a Cricket store or call the company phone number to follow voice prompts. BridgePay allows you to split your bill into separate payments.

Does Cricket Wireless allow tethering?

With an additional monthly payment of $10, you can use your mobile device to tether with other Wi-Fi capable devices to operate on a decent speed.

Is Cricket Wireless 4g?

As long as your phone is 4g compatible, Cricket Wireless offers a 4G LTE plan so your phone can process data at optimal efficiency.

Does Cricket Wireless support Apple watch?

Not all Apple watches can connect to Cricket Wireless. For instance, the Apple Watch Series 3 cannot connect to prepaid wireless plans, so it cannot connect Cricket Wireless.

Does Cricket Wireless work in Hawaii?

Cricket Wireless covers most of the area of Hawaii, in fact, Cricket Wireless covers more of Hawaii than its competitors.

Can I use Cricket Wireless in Mexico?

You must purchase the Cricket Unlimited plan to use high-speed data in Mexico or you can use roaming data with regular plan, you can still use the service in Mexico with a slower speed.

Does Cricket Wireless work in Puerto Rico?

Yes, Cricket Wireless plans include the United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, but does not include the northern territories of Canada.

Does Cricket Wireless work in Jamaica?

Yes, however, the roaming data services operate at 2G speeds if you are located outside of North America.

Does Cricket Wireless work in the Bahamas?

Cricket Wireless provides full service to US, Canada, and Mexico only. The network does not cover any area outside of those boundaries.

How is Cricket Wireless coverage?

The Cricket Wireless coverage is just as good as the AT&T coverage, since both companies share the same network. Cricket Wireless has more coverage in Hawaii compared to its competitors.

Managing and Activating your Cricket Wireless Account

If you have decided to proceed with activation, then there are steps to take and things to know to easily manage your Cricket Wireless account. This information will help you save time and money.

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How to get my Cricket Wireless account number?

You can visit the company website and sign into “My Account” where you should find a field that displays all account information including account number.

How much is Cricket Wireless activation fee?

You can either activate your phone in a Cricket wireless store for $25 or register online on the company website to activate it for free.

How to cancel Cricket Wireless?

You have to call the company and speak to a customer service representative in order to cancel the service with Cricket Wireless.

How to pay Cricket Wireless bill online?

You must first navigate to the company website and sign into your Account. You should locate an option to pay your bill once successfully logged in.

Where to buy Cricket Wireless refill card?

You can purchase a variety of Cricket wireless refill cards from multiple vendors online or from your local Cricket Wireless retail store.

How much is a Cricket Wireless sim card?

Cricket Wireless sim cards range in price from $1 to $10 and the company offers a selection of sim card types such as the Nano sim card, Micro sim card, and Standard sim card.

Can I use my own phone with Cricket Wireless?

To check if your phone is compatible with Cricket Wireless, you must visit a phone compatibility side and enter the specific brand and model of phone which will notify you whether or not your phone is compatible.

Does Cricket Wireless take checks?

At this time Cricket Wireless does not accept checks, bank account draft, PayPal or money order. You can make a payment with a credit or debit card.

Where can I pay my Cricket Wireless bill?

There are several ways to pay your Cricket Wireless bills. You can contact the company via phone directly to speak to a customer service representative or you can log into your online account to manage your payments there.

Additional Information

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Why is Cricket Wireless so cheap?

Cricket Wireless provides slower speeds. Being capped at 8 Mbps, Cricket Wireless is on the slow end of wireless service providers.

Do Cricket Wireless plans include tax?

Yes, Cricket Wireless includes taxes according to state and local rates.

How many Cricket Wireless stores are there?

There are currently more than 4,300 Cricket Wireless retail stores located in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.

Does Cricket Wireless sell tablets?

Cricket Wireless does not manufacturer their own tablets, but the company does offer services to tablets, if you are a long-term customer.

How many customers does Cricket Wireless have?

Currently, Cricket Wireless has over 9 million subscribers due to being a cheaper alternative and the facilities provided being a prepaid provider.

When is Cricket Wireless getting new phones?

Cricket Wireless is keeping up with market trends by adopting newer models of mobile phones. For instance, the company is compatible with the Galaxy S9.

Is Cricket Wireless worth it?

Depending on your monthly budget and what functionalities of a mobile phone you get, you may consider registering for a plan with Cricket Wireless to save money and prevent excessive costs.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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