How Does Cricket Wireless Work?


Quick Answer

Cricket Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T, operating as a mobile virtual network operator using AT&T's cellular network. Cricket offers prepaid, no-contract voice and data plans, as well as a variety of branded phones for purchase. Users may also bring their own compatible phones to the service.

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Full Answer

Originally founded by Leap Wireless, Cricket was acquired by AT&T in 2013 and rolled into the telecommunication company's stable of brands. AT&T effectively merged the company with its own Aio Wireless subsidiary, converting all existing Aio stores into Cricket Wireless stores.

Cricket Wireless uses the GSM, 3G, HSPA+ and LTE networks for cellular communication. The company's CDMA service was terminated as of March 2015, leaving some older phones without connectivity on the new network. Cricket uses AT&T's network, but also has roaming agreements with other carriers such as Sprint in order to provide more coverage for their customers.

Cricket offers a variety of different service plans, ranging from simple talk-and-text plans without data access to plans that include up to 10 gigabytes of LTE data. If a user goes over the data allotment in a month, data speeds are restricted to 128 kilobits per second until the end of the billing cycle. Cricket also offers optional add-ons such as the Deezer music subscription service and a phone insurance program.

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