Moto G

Two months after being snapped up by AT&T as part of the Leap Wireless acquisition, there's a new Cricket in town. The newly relaunched prepaid carrier service is being rolled together with AT&T's home-brewed AiO Wireless prepaid brand, and will eventually transition off Cricket's MVNO agreement with Sprint (that's an awkward position for AT&T, eh?) to devices that run on AT&T's own network.

As a budget pre-paid carrier, Cricket is offering three low-cost smartphone plans. All include unlimited talk and text, which has become the bare minimum for any carrier plan these days. The real money is in the data package, where a Cricket customer could get 500MB of LTE data for as little as $35-a-month (that's including taxes and fees, with a $5 credit if signed up for automatic payments). If that's not enough for you, bumping up to $45-a-month will net 2.5GB of data, while $55-a-month gets 5GB.

Cricket Store

Once customers go over that limit their data speeds are throttle back, but access continues, much like T-Mobile's recent elimination of overage charges. If the customer wants more high speed data, they'll have to pay for it. The Aio Group Save family plan discount of up to $90-a-month is carrying over to Cricket, and customers can also get international call plans starting at $15 a month, as well as unlimited international texting plans.

As far as phones are concerned, the new Cricket is offering a healthy selection of devices off AT&T's network, including the Android-powered Moto G at $149.99, the popular and highly affordable Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 520 for $99.99, and even the iPhone 5c ($549.99) and iPhone 5s ($649.99). With the exception of the iPhones, most of the phones in the Cricket line-up are being offered with a $50 mail-in rebate.

As part of the reorganzation and relaunch, all Aio Wireless and Cricket stores will fall under the Cricket brand and receive a floor-to-ceiling redesign.

Source: Cricket

Press release:

New Cricket Wireless Answers Nationwide Call for Network Quality, Value Prices, Great Service and No Annual Contract

Launches service with reliable 4G LTE network, unlimited plans starting at $35 month after $5 Auto Pay credit, and loyalty program, all with no annual contract

Alpharetta, Ga., May 18, 2014 – – Consumers seeking a better wireless experience with no annual contract have a new choice. Today, the new Cricket Wireless launches wireless service on a reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network covering more than 280 million Americans; with easy and affordable unlimited plans starting at $35 a month after a $5 credit for using Auto Pay; a great line-up of phones; a loyalty rewards program; and a fresh, friendly experience in stores and online.

"We kept the Cricket brand name, but one thing is certain, we are stepping up our game. We are giving no-contract consumers the value they have been waiting for," said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of Cricket Wireless. "Now new Cricket customers can enjoy great prices, popular phones, loyalty rewards, and friendly service on a reliable nationwide 4G LTE network. The new Cricket has more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS, period."

The reinvented wireless experience emerges as a winning combination of Cricket Wireless and Aio Wireless just two months after AT&T (NYSE:T) closed its acquisition of Leap Wireless International, which had operated the Cricket brand. Aio, AT&T's wholly owned subsidiary and no-annual-contract brand, will now be known as Cricket Wireless.

The New Cricket Nationwide Network

The new Cricket has a reliable nationwide network covering more than 97% of Americans and one that offers the ability to talk on the phone and surf the web at the same time. In addition, the new Cricket provides value-conscious consumers access to outstanding 4G LTE coverage. In fact, the new Cricket offers more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS, reaching more than 280 million Americans.

Simple, Affordable Service Plans & Features

Cricket understands that no one likes complicated bills; that's why all of the new Cricket plans include taxes and fees with no U.S. roaming charges. Cricket customers can choose from three simple, unlimited talk, text and data plans at industry leading prices. Service plans and extra features that give customers more value include:

  • Rate plans as low as $35, $45 and $55 a month after a $5 credit for using Auto Pay
  • Savings of up to $90 a month for multiple-line accounts
  • 4 lines for as little as $100 a month with a multi-line account
  • Unlimited talk and text plan starting at $25 a month
  • International calling plans starting at $15 a month
  • Plans that include unlimited international texting

Phones, Promotion, and Rewards

From iconic phones that consumers wait in line for, to those that won't break the bank, Cricket offers a great lineup of new and popular phones from Samsung, Nokia, ZTE, Motorola and more. For a limited time, new Cricket customers can receive $50 off most smartphones after a mail-in-rebate Cricket Visa® Promotion Card. For customers selecting a $49.99 smartphone, the mail-in rebate means they can get a free phone after the mail-in rebate to experience the benefits of the new Cricket.

To thank customers on Smart and Pro service plans for their loyalty, after 12 months of on-time payments Cricket provides customers with a $50 credit every year toward any new phone purchase.

Nearly 3,000 newly redesigned and rebranded Cricket Wireless retail stores are open and ready to greet customers in their neighborhoods—with more on the way. From the bright and inviting look to the easy shopping experience, the new Cricket stores were designed with today's wireless customer in mind.

"We invite anyone looking for reliability, simplicity, and more value in no-annual-contract wireless to sign up today," added Van Buskirk. "Come visit our new stores or www.cricketwireless.com to find out why Cricket is something to smile about."

About the new Cricket Wireless

Cricket is bringing consumers more value with a simple, friendly, and reliable nationwide wireless experience with no annual contract. The power of Cricket is our fast, reliable, nationwide 4G LTE network; easy and affordable unlimited plans with taxes and fees included; annual loyalty rewards; and a great selection of phones customers love. Cricket, Something to Smile About. Cricket is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.

 

Reader comments

AT&T relaunches Cricket as nationwide brand with new smartphones, plans, and LTE

72 Comments

I'm pretty sure it's ATT service or its still Sprint until the contracts up then it will be ATT

Posted via Android Central App

I've had Aio (which just started showing as Cricket in the network identifier) for like six months now, and the service is pretty good, especially for the money. Call quality is good, and data is not fast (capped at 8Mbps) but it's reliable and plentiful.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. I have no issue with it at all. It's sufficient for high quality streaming on Netflix and Hulu, which is the most bandwidth-intensive thing I do on my phone. Of course, higher speed would be nice, but it's nowhere near a deal-breaker.

Posted via Android Central App

So with service that good and prices that low we still want to restrict how much spectrum they can buy at the upcoming auction....

Posted via Android Central App

Don't play dumb. AT&T has only been competing on price recently, due to TMobile's UN-Carrier promotions. Without that competition from TMobile, AT&T would have no incentive to lower prices. It's a business, after all, not a frickin charity.

At&t doesn't compete with T-Mobile at all. They compete against Verizon. Sprint competes with T-Mobile.

T-Mobile could pay people to leave At&t or Verizon and nobody would leave. They're eating Sprints lunch. At&t / Verizon are sitting fat and pretty.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

I've lived in the Detroit area and now in phoenix with Aio. Service is pretty solid. I have a nexus 5 and keep my phone dialed back to HSPA speeds. Just no point in having the LTE radio on sucking battery juice if Aio throttles to 8 Mbps anyway. The only coverage issues I've had is when I head out into the real boonies, as in some of the remote mountain areas around phoenix. There are spots where my brother will have Verizon service and I'll have zippola. I think this is because Aio doesnt have the full roaming partnership access that vzw or postpaid ATT have. But honestly, these spots were waaaaaaay out there. And I'm hoping access to crickets infrastructure will only improve things.

Posted via Android Central App

Hmmm You may be right. I never actually speed tested on hspa. All I know is Hulu and Netflix have worked just peachy keen for me that way. I do know the signal is stronger when I'm on hspa vs LTE though, at least where I'm at in metro phoenix.

Posted via Android Central App

In regards to coverage, you are correct. Virtually every prepaid brand and MVNO does not get privy to roaming agreements of their post-paid parents.

Posted via Android Central App

Cricket service was exceptional until about 6 weeks ago and now it sucks. I use my phone as a hotspot and used to have 5 full bars and now its mostly 3 to 4. It WAS perfect.
I'm leaving cricket and looking for another small company that is not owned by the big 4.

I agree its because you need to get a new phone to work on there new network you still on the old network.

This sounds like it may just pull me away from straight talk. I can set up auto-pay on the $60 plan to make it $55, and end up paying about $7 more a month for 2 GB more data, and better customer service and support. Not too bad.

Got Nexus?

I'm in. I hope they introduce a BYOD program. I love Tmobile but there service is not everywhere in WI and with Cricket being on Atts network this seems like a no brainer. Along as there are good phones besides the iPhone

You can BYOD. I brought my Verizon Note 2 with no problem, and family brought their moto g and x with no issues. Just sign up for service and get a sim card only.

They do not have any contracts or monthly add-ons for buying a device, so there is no "discount" for BYOD and never will be as that is not how AIO/Cricket is working.

Aio also had the option of adding a recurring "Aio gig" to your data plan for $10. So all told you could still get 6 gigs of 4g data for $65. And if you have more than one phone on your account with them they knock off an extra $5. Assuming those discounts are still in place, it should be possible to get 6 gigs for $60 ....which is damn nice. I've had Aio for nearly a year myself and am still quite pleased, and that includes with their customer service.

Posted via Android Central App

I am paying $62.0 a month on Sprint with no contract, I get unlimited talk, text and data. their 4G LTE where I live is very good. I don`t stay on You Tube or playing games nor watching movies. I walked to VZW yesterday to check their price, they`re crazy. It cost $140 a month for one line with 10 GB...

Agreed. I've been with Straight Talk for years. This is the first time I've really been tempted by another service to switch.

I really want that $35 plan! Really wish StraightTalk would offer something similar though as I've been really happy with their service and it's always a hassle porting, and even more so from ST. I'm a light data user and paying $50 all in for ST is still too much.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

I am using the $35 plan and it works great. I would like to see the data bumped to 1gb for that price that way I an use spotify or pandora everyday of the week but then again, I am only paying $35. Even when I stream like 3 days a week, I only use around 450Mb of data, it would just be nice to have a little more wiggle room.

I'm confused. Wasn't Cricket CDMA? If so, how does that work when AIO is/was GSM? Would the legacy Cricket devices just run off of Sprint's network and only GSM phones are sold going forward?

I'm sure any new phones will be gsm, older phones week silk be cdma on sprint. I am sure att will probably make a deal to get users to switch

Posted via Android Central App

Right. Think of this as Aio with a new name. Crickets old network is all being let go (basically just roaming agreements) and it'll be all AT&T going forward.

Posted via Android Central App

I think they are going to support Cricket CDMA and offer new AT&T phones to new customers and upgrades.
This way they will wean customers off of Cricket so they can shut down the network and reuse the spectrum.
All AT&T wants is the prepaid brand and the spectrum, the network will slowly go away. Except for LTE networks if Cricket had any.

It's really the similair to T-mobile's acquisition of MetroPCS, MetroPCS sells T-mobile phones exclusively now and is supporting CDMA phones until they have enough of the MetroPCS users in a market converted and then they can shut down MetroPCS CDMA networks and use the spectrum for LTE.

Right, except Metro has already started shutting down the CDMA network in Las Vegas. Cricket will start doing the same next year or that's what I saw on their website a few weeks back.

I had Cricket a few years ago, and it was meh. I might have to get on that $55 plan!

Posted via Android Central App

What do you do on a phone that would saturate 8Mb/s? I don't see any difference going from 30Mb/s on T-Mobile to AIO's 8Mb/s.

I don't understand why you'd choose this over Straight Talk's $45 3GB plan. It also uses AT&T's network and gives you more data.

Posted via Android Central App

At the low end ST is the better deal I think, but at the higher end of data usage to cost value, Aio / cricket wins. Just depends on your usage needs really.

Posted via Android Central App

Tracfone data is also given the absolute lowest priority on AT&T's network
I think it goes like this
AT&T Postpaid
AT&T GoPhone
Cricket / Aio
All other mvno's

Plus straight talk routes their data through a server in arizona, when I was with them on Straight Talk and Net10 I had constant data issues as well as just generally slow data.
the delays that mvno traffic experience make 4G LTE feel like UTMS or at best HSPA.

AT&T's network prioritization in particular seems heavy on the AIO/Cricket and even heavier on third party mvno's

T-mobile does the same kind of thing, but they aren't quite as heavy handed.
But in the end, the more you pay for your data, the more they care about your service.
In the case of third party mvnos, I think they couldn't care less.

I'd like to get better coverage than T-Mobile (especially since all devices don't have WiFi calling)... but even though the article states the "Group Save" plan is offered, I don't see it on the Cricket web site when I try to get a plan quote. BYOD would be needed too.

I loved T-Mobile, but that's why I switched to AIO last year. Coverage was just better on ATTs network.

Posted via Android Central App

Yea ping matters a lot on these mvnos straight talks lte feels like 3g because the latency sucks.

Posted via Android Central App

Uses aio network which is att

Capped at 8mbps is plenty for a phone. You want fatter for some reason then get go phone.

I wonder if aio customers will be grandfathered with throttled days not overages

As, said, it's a business not a charity. I am currently, with Cricket and Verizon. I use a HTC M7 SV ONE on Cricket and a iPhone 4 on Verizon. Verizon, has aloud third parties to sell their phones etc..., and you think your actually purchase from Verizon; when in fact your not. Although, the signage on the store is the same.

One must, ask direct if this is a Verizon-Store or an authorized third-party. Go to a Verizon-Store, you'll save a little on cost. Example: stupid I know, but I signed-up, for a $120.00 per month sharing 2 Gigabytes with two phones, because I signed-up through a third-party vendor; the bill was $160.00 monthly after tax tittle and licences. Not $120.00, and explained to me that I should have signed-up at a Verizon-Store, not a third party authorized store. There in tha malls in a little both, as you walk through the mall. I feel, it's descriptive, so, beware!

My girlfriend, actually signed us up, after words of course (45-days), passed she tried to renogationate the contract, yeah right. Long story short, she told them to jump in the lake, now they want $800.00 to settle a two-year contract.

We now, both have separate Cricket plans. Lol
However, before this I had been with Sprint, for 16-years; my-house was burglarized and I lost about $45.000,00 worth of belongings (out-of-town), after arriving back home and a two-year purchasing spree, as per insurance company, and dealing with police etc.., and specifically, because I was out of town and had no idea, that this had occured until, days afterwards, SPRINT ASSURION INSURANCE, told me I had only, One-Day to report the stolen cell phone, my-second-one, and they didn't have to pay the claim. (24-hours)

Consequently, I told Sprint after 16-years and No-Claims to also, jump in the lake. Now, their trying to ruin my credit or I pay $500.00 dollar's to continue to do business with them. Had that phone number, for along time, sad, but it's business. (Theft in my-opinion by, Sprint).

Now, I understand, there is some sort of Class Action litigation, regarding the insurance company, although I have yet to check in to this.

I pray, the move by, ATT., will be an improvement not another con. I am currently, getting 2 Gigs, for $53.00 a month no-auto-pay.

I use my phone's through my wireless internet at home and my telephone can do 4G., but throttles back to 3G in certain areas. The network coverage was lousy, like one commit stated out of town reception is bad.

I hope this will improve.

Also, was told my an in-store advocate, that 3G phones will no-longer work and one will have to upgrade if you wish to remain with Cricket. I have not confirmed this, so don't kill the messager.

Good Luck to All!

May jump in tomorrow! Had been on the fence over purchasing an unlocked Moto G last month for TMobile (current carrier); however, was turned off by the 3g maximum & inability to expand the 8 or 16gb memory...NOW I SEE that the a new updated MOTO G is available & is (at least) 4g capable with expandable memory slot! Cannot confirm that NEW CRICKET has this updated MOTOG !? Looked on the box aT CRICKET, & NOTHING SEZ 3G/4G/LTE OR, ANY info!! Even the spec page inside the phone does not address this.Does anyone know if the New Cricket provides the New Moto G?
Also, if one were to buy at the cricket store, can the phone easily be transferred via sim to another GSM carrier if unhappy?
Thanks
All in all, this sounds like a pretty good deal!
burghdood

Wow. Uh... I'll just answer your questions:

Cricket only carries the 8GB original version of the Moto G. There have been no announcements of us getting the Moto G 4G.

Also, it is carrier locked to Cricket until your fourth consecutive month of service while using the device, then you would simply call or chat up customer service and request the unlock code.

Posted via Android Central App

Does anyone know how to unlock the moto g bootloader without the use of a computer? I don't have access to an unsecured computer to be able to unlock the bootloder. I do not care if I break the boot loader. Screw the warranty!

Also, the originally moto g can connect to HSPA+21 networks, which according to T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS, and legacy AIO/New Cricket, is what they call their 4G networks.

Posted via Android Central App

Well, is the HSPA+21 networks significantly slower than a true 4gLTE? Have heard that if you are outside a major metro (top 20) city,then the phones sometimes have to bounce between 3 & 4 g's & cause some slowdowns anyways...plus, I thought the New Cricket is only designed to work with 4glte-does that mean these "old Moto G's" will soon need to be traded in???

I just got ATT with two lines and a Note 3 for me and iPhone 5 for my daughter both free on two year contract. I'm paying 110.00 a month and get a 10% discount for my college alumni discount so my bill is around 100 even, thats 50 dollars a line and we get 2gb data of which we used only 1gb the first month since we mainly use wifi except when in the car and even then we use Spotify in offline mode since we download all our music to the phones when on wifi.

Well then. Yay for GSM. Yay for me being able to keep my existing $55.
Now here's the biggest problem:
I have to give up my CDMA Galaxy S3 because it won't get unlocked and it's the same as the Sprint version:
It's not an actual SIM card; it's a UICC only for 4G LTE (which LTE did exist in Houston, on Cricket before the merger thingy.)
This sucks. Well at least now I can go out an' revive an old HTC Sensation (unlocked very, very easily lol.) and put it on Cricket.
Rant end.

Just signed up for Cricket GSM service and I am fairly happy. Cricket 4GLTE has no roaming so the data speed is a bit on the slow side, but adequate so far. This means there is no tower roaming.for data. The good thing is that AT&T has their own towers in most areas. I was on Solavei and Walmart T-mobile family mobile. The upside is with Solavei and T-mobile is that they have tower roaming for data. So data speeds are quite fast almost everywhere. The downside is that Solavei lowered their cap 2 MB for $50 with throttling. They now charge $69 for 4mb and never did upgrade to LTE as they promised. They now charge $10 for a additional 500mb.

The great thing about Cricket 4G LTE is that you get 3gb for $50 or $60 for 5gb. Now you get $5 off for autopay. The only other downside is that they throttle the speed to 8Mbps. I am just hoping the FCC does not approve the Sprint Tmobile acquistion. This will keep the pressure on AT&T and other carriers.

The New Cricket sucks for existing customers. I had three phones with the old Cricket. I didn't have any problems, and no major complaints. I paid $100 a month for all three with unlimited calls, data, internet. 4G speed. And had plenty of data space to run Facebook, You Tube, etc. that lasted a whole month. Now with New Cricket, everything changed - FOR THE WORSE. One phone broke. Ok, buy a new one right? No. You must buy a new ATT phone and set it up with the NEW CRICKET and you cannot even keep your old phone number. And it cannot be a part of the group plan you already had. AND YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PHONE LINE OF THE BROKEN PHONE ON YOUR GROUP PLAN EVEN THOUGH IT'S BROKE BECAUSE IF THEY CANNOT REMOVE IT FROM THE GROUP. So I keep paying for three lines, even though there are only two phones. OK. Now what about the two phones that I still have. They will continue to let them operate until May next year but then I have to buy a crappy ZTE or some super expensive ATT phone if I want to continue with Cricket. Example - With Old Cricket I have a Galaxy SIII that I bought for $245. With New Cricket the same phone that's now ATT phone is over $300. Or just get the crappy ZTE. THEN THERE IS THE SO CALLED UNLIMITED DATA - IT'S NOT! After just one day without Wifi I went through all of their so called unlimited 4G data and then got reduced to 3G or less. Because they are only giving you half the data now with the NEW CRICKET than what was offered with the OLD CRICKET. NEW CRICKET SUCKS! I went to Walmart and got a new family plan that is also prepaid for $100 a month and bought 3 BRAND NEW PHONES cheaper than one of the NEW CRICKETS EXPENSIVE ATT PHONES. MORE DATA. 4G SPEED. NOTE: We live in Houston. So I don't care about if coverage. All the available options have decent phone coverage for Houston.

I've always had cricket I've always loved cricket love it even the timing on this change was impeccable! We moved out into the country where old cricket service was very poor. My hubby m me walked out with new phones new cases with a payment plan. Not to happy with the interest but we plan on paying them off way sooner then the 12 months. My only complain is there is no HOTSPOT!!!!!! And I used mine on a daily! It never occurred to me to ask because I'VE ALWAYS HAD IT so if someone knows a way around this PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW.