Cricket wireless claims to be the second-best mobile network provider in America after Verizon, which leads the way with a whopping 70% high-quality 4g network. However, when it comes to the coverage of the 3g network, AT&T has the best 3g coverage than any other American cellular brand, which is the parent company of cricket wireless.
Cricket Wireless wasn’t always the best in providing quality mobile services, renowned for its low-priced services in the early days of its emergence as a mobile network provider in America rather than the quality and consistency in the coverage.
However, the fortune changes in 2015 when AT&T bought Cricket wireless in a deal involving 1.2 billion dollars. Ever since cricket wireless emerges as a quality mobile service provider and leading the way with its high-speed LTE coverage as cricket and AT&T have started to share their towers.
So what has changed so far for Cricket, what towers does cricket use these days and what network did they carry to boost their reputation? We are going to discuss all those questions in this article that will make things clear for us to understand the difference between cricket of the past and Cricket nowadays.
MVNO and MNO
Before jumping straight into the business part of the article let’s just quickly talk about some basics. Do you ever hear the terms MVNO and MNO? Before we talk about the wide coverage range of cricket wireless, we need to know a thing or two about these terms.
MVNO stands for the mobile virtual network operator and that’s what cricket wireless basically is. So if cricket wireless is an MVNO, what is MNO then? MNO stands for the mobile network operator and they are the big fishes of the American mobile business.
Cricket wireless being an MVNO borrows its wireless capabilities from an MNO which in this case is AT&T. It’s very important to understand these terms if you are really into this mobile network stuff because MNO directly affects the coverage area of an MVNO. And that’s how the fortune changes for cricket wireless after it has been linked with AT&T back in 2015.
Cricket wireless has emerged as one of the leading mobile service providers in America by using the towers of AT&T that boosted the coverage area and speed of cricket wireless. There are positives as well as negatives of borrowing wireless services from an MNO but as far as Cricket wireless is concerned, it has benefited a lot from this relationship.
What Towers Does Cricket Wireless Use Nowadays?
After being started as a fairly ordinary mobile network operator back in 1999, cricket wireless becomes one of the leading mobile service providers after linking with AT&T in 2015. Ever since cricket wireless started sharing cell towers with AT&T they have really excelled. The good thing about being using AT&T cell towers is that they offer great coverage.
AT&T ranked second among all the mobile service providers in America after Verizon. They cover almost 60% of the entire American mobile networks with their high-speed 4G network and they are less expensive than other leading service providers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
It means that cricket wireless is your best option if you want to save some bucks on 4G deals. You will get the same quality as AT&T and that too at a low price. That’s is the reason why they are one of the biggest MVNO in America these days because as far as the quality of coverage and speed is concerned, you are getting what you will get from AT&T at a fairly low cost. So that’s where cricket wireless has benefited a lot by using AT&T cell towers.
Nowadays cricket wireless LTE band is covering almost all of America with some far-off areas that are not in the covering range of the LTE network, covered by cricket’s high speed 4G and 3G network or by any other third party coverage. That makes cricket wireless a reliable and comprehensive mobile network operator.
One of the main differences between cricket wireless and its parent company AT&T is that, unlike AT&T, cricket wireless is a prepaid mobile service while its MNO provides the same type of postpaid plans to its users with almost the same service but at a more expensive base price.
Pros and Cons of Cricket Wireless
- Reliable and high-speed coverage
- Pretty inexpensive as compared to competitors
- No hidden charges
- Allows you to change package plans without extra charges
- Provide free devices to new customers
- No long term contract needed
- Offers services on your previous number
- Prepaid service
- Best 3G network of America
- International roaming limited to few countries
- A bit slower than some of its competitors
- Audio and video quality may get affected by its slow speed
- Speed changes after your allotted package plan expired
As they often, good things come in small packages, cricket wireless may sound a bit underwhelming because it is an MVNO but ever since they are linked with AT&T and started using their cell towers they have positively changed a lot. One thing that hasn’t changed ever since its inception is its low cost and that’s where it attracts a lot of customers because of its inexpensive package plans.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Which is better; straight talk or cricket wireless?
Answer: Almost the same if we consider the speed and coverage quality of both these reputed mobile service providers but the thing where cricket wireless excels is its relatively low cost and exceptional package plans. Cricket wireless offers its customers more customizable alternatives as far as package plans are concerned.
Also cricket wireless provides more data than straight talk which attracts a lot of customers. Although Straight Talk is not bad either, they just can’t keep up with cricket’s fairly attractive package plans especially you are looking to get a multiple lines deal.
Q: Is it true that Cricket gives free mobile phones to new users?
Answer: Yes, it is. It seems a bit overwhelming and honestly speaking it is. If you are transferring from another wireless provider to cricket wireless, you will get a new phone from cricket wireless free of any cost.
Q: How much a package plan costs you if you are a cricket wireless user?
Answer: It depends on whether you opt for a limited or an unlimited plan. There are plans for one line and multiple lines too. 55$ a month will do for an unlimited plan if you opted for a single line. You will get a discount on all package plans for multiple line deals. The unlimited package plan offers a downloading speed of 3mbps.
Q: Does cricket wireless work with every phone?
Answer: You can definitely use a cricket phone and it is the best option but you can also use an AT&T phone with cricket wireless. You can also use Verizon phones without having to unlock them. T-Mobile phones can also do but you have to unlock them before using them with cricket wireless.
Q: Do I have to pay an activation fee to a cricket retailer?
Answer: Yes, you do. If you go to a retailer to sign up, the retailer will charge you 25$ for that. But you can also sign up online without paying any activation fee. For that purpose, you can buy your sim card from Amazon or order it from cricket’s official website.
Cricket wireless had its ups and downs since its inception, but it has emerged big time after 2015 with AT&T. From a CDMA carrier to a GSM network carrier, cricket has benefited a lot from using the same towers as AT&T to provide its customers reliable and invariant coverage. From nowhere to everywhere, cricket wireless is thriving rapidly as one of the leading prepaid mobile service providers in America by using AT&T cell towers.