• Cricket Ends Speed Caps, Opens Up 5G Access



    Some breaking news of interest from Android Police this morning:

    The company has limited most customers' LTE download speeds to just 8Mbps for the longest time. Now, that speed cap has been lifted for those on the 2GB ($30/mo. for a single line), 10GB ($40), and Unlimited ($55) tiers. Furthermore, these customers will also now be able to access AT&T's 5G network ó nationwide low-band and "5G+" millimeter wave in limited locations ó bringing these plans in line with the Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot ($60/mo.) selection. This does mean that most of them will need to purchase a new device to take advantage of the next-gen grid, but at least there will be 13 phones to choose from unlike just the one that was available when the Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot plan was updated last year to include 5G access.
    AP also notes that speeds are subject to traffic management at any time.

    Source: Android Police

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cricket Ends Speed Caps, Opens Up 5G Access started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 61 Comments
    1. NCTed's Avatar
      NCTed -
      I wonder how long before AT&T Prepaid gets 5G on all their plans. I'd switch back to Cricket but for the lack of hotspot inclusion.
    1. hooked's Avatar
      hooked -
      Will these changes apply to the old 5 lines for $100 plans? I donít even remember the speed cap, but I think it was 8Mbps.
    1. GPz1100's Avatar
      GPz1100 -
      75/20 mbps in a recent test on the $100 plan (4 lines).

      Here's the official PR - https://www.cricketwireless.com/the-...milestone.html

      Cricket Wireless Reaches 12.4 Million Subscriber Milestone and Revs Up Plans Giving Customers Access to the Fast Lane
      Removes 8Mbps Speed Caps on $30, $40 and $55 plans and Adds 5G Access on All Plans


      October 29, 2021

      What’s the news? Cricket Wirelessannounced today it has grown the #CricketNation to 12.4 million subscribers, an increase of more than 2 million subscribers in 2 years, and has tuned up its rate plans, removing the 8Mbps speed caps on its $30, $40 and $55/mo. plans and adding 5G network access on all plans1. Cricket is part of the AT&T Prepaid Portfolio. AT&T has been the fastest growing prepaid carrier in the United States since 2019. It serves more than 19 million total prepaid subscribers and had near record-low churn in the third quarter of 2021.

      While this is a major company milestone, it represents something more significant to John Dwyer, president of Cricket Wireless.

      “The last two years have been challenging for people. During this unprecedented time, when in-person contact has been limited, we all have relied on our wireless devices to keep us connected to the people, things and experiences that matter most. Through it all, we have quietly been focused on taking care of our customers—giving new ones a reason to make the switch to Cricket and giving our existing customers reasons to stay. We are proud of our subscriber growth and remain committed to earning the loyalty of our customers every day.”

      What’s new with Cricket’s rate plans? We’re making our plans even better, giving customers more by:

      • Including 5G access on all plans, which means existing customers on our current rate plans can enjoy access to the 5G network1 for just $25/mo. per line with 4 lines of service2


      • Removing the 8Mbps speed cap on our $30/mo., $40/mo. and $55/mo.3 plans.


      What does Cricket offer that’s different than others? Well, we try to do it differently than other prepaid companies. Here’s how:

      Value-added services that give that something extra:
      • Ad-supported tier of HBO Max 4 included in our $60/month unlimited plan.
      • First-year FREE Sam’s Club membership5 for customers on our $60/month unlimited plan.
      • FREE subscription to Bark Jr Parental Controls app6 that helps families navigate the digital world and keep kids safer online.
      • Easy, Smart Investing with Acorns where Cricket customers who sign up for a new Acorns account, and invest $5, will receive a $10 investment bonus in their Acorns Invest account.7 For every month their wireless service is paid, Cricket will invest $1 into their Acorn account.
      • Offers Emergency Broadband Benefit8 (EBB), a temporary federal government program that provides eligible customers a benefit of up to $50/month, or up to $75/mo. on Tribal lands, on eligible Cricket service. That makes our top unlimited plan just $10/month after the benefit is applied.


      Helping communities we serve: For more than 20 years, we’ve made it our mission to give back to the local communities who support us – through our many Authorized Retailers that operate the Cricket stores across the country and our support of local organizations and projects. We also support Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs) sports andmusic programs and work with non-profits like theBoys & Girls Club of America to support and inspire youth.




      1Cricket 5G requires a compatible device and is not available everywhere. See cricketwireless.com/map for coverage details

      2 $55/mo. Cricket Core required on four lines. $30 discount on second line, $45 discount each on third & fourth lines, all on same account. Add’l fees, usage & restr’s apply.

      3 On the $55/mo. unlimited plan: Cricket may temporarily slow speeds during network congestion. Video streaming limited to standard definition.

      4 Video streaming on the $60/mo. unlimited plan is limited to standard definition. Online account required for HBO Max access. HBO Max is used under license. See cricketwireless.com/plans for details
      5 Offer Ends 1/6/2022. After 1 year, Sam’s Club membership renews at minimum $45/year unless you cancel. New Sam’s Club members only. Redemption required. Activation fee (in-store $25/line), terms & rest’s apply.

      6Bark Parental Controls. Bark Premium discounted rate is available for new Bark customers only. After 12 months, Bark Premium renews at the prevailing rate (currently $14/mo.) unless you cancel.

      7Requires min. $30 Cricket purchase. Investment Bonus applied within 60 days of $5 initial investment. Terms and Conditions apply, see acorns.com/cricket for details.
      8The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a temporary emergency government benefit program operated by the Federal Communications Commission. The benefit is not transferable. Only eligible consumers may enroll in the program and the benefit is limited to one monthly benefit per household on a qualifying mobile broadband service plan. Cricket reserves the right to cancel the monthly benefit at any time. If your monthly service charge is $0 after the benefit, you must use the service each month, or the benefit will be discontinued. Eligible Cricket Wireless Service: $60/mo. Cricket More, $55/mo. Cricket Core, $55/mo. Simply Data.
    1. bandoba's Avatar
      bandoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
      I wonder how long before AT&T Prepaid gets 5G on all their plans. I'd switch back to Cricket but for the lack of hotspot inclusion.
      Same here! Also I thought AT&T would offer it on prepaid before it is available to Cricket customers. Unfortunately not!
    1. mch's Avatar
      mch -
      I have 5G on at&t prepaid unlimited plus. So they do have it on some prepaid plans.
    1. bandoba's Avatar
      bandoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by mch View Post
      I have 5G on at&t prepaid unlimited plus. So they do have it on some prepaid plans.
      You're right! I was referring to cheaper AT&T prepaid plans like 5GB plan, similar to the ones listed in the announcements.
    1. punisherbv's Avatar
      punisherbv -
      Quote Originally Posted by bandoba View Post
      Same here! Also I thought AT&T would offer it on prepaid before it is available to Cricket customers. Unfortunately not!
      True you would think Att would get it first but remember back in the days when cricket got VoLTE and WiFi calling before eventually att prepaid finally did. Itís odd how they work that around but perhaps they did this to test it out before getting it rolling on their own brand
    1. GPz1100's Avatar
      GPz1100 -
      I expect to see a huge spike in data usage over the next few days/weeks as more people realize there's more bw. But ultimately, usage patterns will return to pre speed increase. Tasks we do on our phones are not likely to change. I used ~3gb of data in speed tests today, but beyond that my usage will be the same as its always been.
    1. thefisch's Avatar
      thefisch -
      I have the moto one 5g but not seeing 5g service yet in a metro area. I am using a 4 year old sim in this phone but that shouldn't matter.

      Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
      75/20 mbps in a recent test on the $100 plan (4 lines).
      Just got 70/8 on 4g lte - haven't been this excited about a speed test in quite some time.

      Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
      Will these changes apply to the old 5 lines for $100 plans? I don’t even remember the speed cap, but I think it was 8Mbps.
      Yes, since the plan is the same as the current 10gb plan. I just tried one of my 5/$100 lines and the cap is lifted.
    1. october262's Avatar
      october262 -
      here's more info on the rate plan update - https://www.reddit.com/r/CricketWire..._plan_updates/
    1. zapjb's Avatar
      zapjb -
      Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
      ...I used ~3gb of data in speed tests today...
      Sounds like a 100 speed tests.
    1. thefisch's Avatar
      thefisch -
      Quote Originally Posted by thefisch View Post
      I have the moto one 5g but not seeing 5g service yet in a metro area. I am using a 4 year old sim in this phone but that shouldn't matter.
      After testing in some different locations, my moto one 5g phone does get 5G service on the 10gb plan despite using an old white/green sim. Have to be in a very good signal area to pick it up. Must have been a signal issue where I was when I first tested it.

      Although, I got lower speedtest results when on 5g then when I first tested the data cap lift on 4g LTE, but the latency seemed better. Maybe that is Cricket limiting my speed based on network priority.

      Will have to see if i notice a difference in real life use over the next several days. Not sure if data cap was ever an issue for me as I mostly use data for GPS and web browsing when on the go.
    1. Qt0's Avatar
      Qt0 -
      anyone notice for the most expensive plan: Premium Data that won’t slow based on your data usage
    1. Samanpezeshki's Avatar
      Samanpezeshki -
      Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
      anyone notice for the most expensive plan: Premium Data that wonít slow based on your data usage
      Yup, I have iPhone 13 pro and work in Cambridge,MA. I noticed my 5G Speedtest have gone from 30-60mbps to 100-300mbps and almost never slows down anymore.

      Loving the new upgrade. Itís nice not to be slowed down in congested areas anymore.
    1. pug_ster's Avatar
      pug_ster -
      Quote Originally Posted by thefisch View Post
      After testing in some different locations, my moto one 5g phone does get 5G service on the 10gb plan despite using an old white/green sim. Have to be in a very good signal area to pick it up. Must have been a signal issue where I was when I first tested it.

      Although, I got lower speedtest results when on 5g then when I first tested the data cap lift on 4g LTE, but the latency seemed better. Maybe that is Cricket limiting my speed based on network priority.

      Will have to see if i notice a difference in real life use over the next several days. Not sure if data cap was ever an issue for me as I mostly use data for GPS and web browsing when on the go.
      That's what 5g supposed to do, decrease latency compared to 4glte.

      Maybe it just takes a few days to get this working. I'm on the 5/100 grandfathered plan and using the sim card brought almost 5 years ago. Today I got a 5g signal and a text from cricket telling me that "Services has been changed in your account." However, 5g doesn't work, I rebooted the phone and now I got a 5g signal on my Moto one 5g.
    1. plane's Avatar
      plane -
      All this is great, but in reality, would most of us notice the difference, had we not been told?
    1. hooked's Avatar
      hooked -
      Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
      All this is great, but in reality, would most of us notice the difference, had we not been told?
      I did not notice until I did a speed test the other day. But then again, I work from home so I hardly leave the house. Lol. And when Iím out and about Iím not streaming or downloading stuff to really see the difference. My speeds went form 3-5 Mbps to 20-30+. None of my phones have 5G.
    1. bricks1343's Avatar
      bricks1343 -
      I copied this from the Cricket website: AT THIS TIME, OTHER CARRIERS' 5G DEVICES WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO 5G SERVICE ON THE CRICKET NETWORK. I have a iPhone 12 that was purchased unlocked directly from Apple. Does this statement mean that I would not get 5g if I switch to Cricket, or since it is not another carriers' phone would I be able to get 5g?
    1. pug_ster's Avatar
      pug_ster -
      Quote Originally Posted by bricks1343 View Post
      I copied this from the Cricket website: AT THIS TIME, OTHER CARRIERS' 5G DEVICES WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO 5G SERVICE ON THE CRICKET NETWORK. I have a iPhone 12 that was purchased unlocked directly from Apple. Does this statement mean that I would not get 5g if I switch to Cricket, or since it is not another carriers' phone would I be able to get 5g?
      No idea about this. I don't think cricket turned on 5g on their phones yet. About a month ago I brought the Moto 5g phone with the 3 month deal, I immediately changed the plan to $30 a month but this phone is still on 4glte. I think it will take a while before turning all the phones to 5g. As I said earlier on my grandfathered plan with the same moto one 5g, 5g is enabled. Might take a while before they enable this on everybody's 5g capable phone I guess.

      Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
      I did not notice until I did a speed test the other day. But then again, I work from home so I hardly leave the house. Lol. And when I’m out and about I’m not streaming or downloading stuff to really see the difference. My speeds went form 3-5 Mbps to 20-30+. None of my phones have 5G.
      At&T 5g implementation is similar to T-mobile where they only enabled 5g on the low band frequencies. Don't even have mmwave yet. I noticed a latency decrease but not much on the speed end. Many other countries who implemented 5g correctly have midbands enabled for their phones so they have the speed and we don't.
    1. charlesfinley's Avatar
      charlesfinley -
      Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
      All this is great, but in reality, would most of us notice the difference, had we not been told?
      This!

      What exactly is everyone doing on their phone that requires more than 8mbps? Or is it just about boasting about "my speed is faster than yours"?

      People just see bigger numbers and assume bigger numbers are better and then they want them. But they don't realize what their actually using.

      For the vast, vast majority of Internet users - for a single person - 10mbps is about all you ever need. Sure, large file downloads will download faster with a faster speed. But loading a website, streaming a video - none of that is really going to exceed 10mbps. How many large file downloads do you make a day? How many large file downloads do you make a day on your phone?

      Speeds above 10mbps you're talking more about capacity than actual download speeds. 10mbps for two people in a household streaming two different TV shows, that might be a struggle. But 20mbps in that household, these two people can stream two different TV shows without a problem.

      How many different TV shows are you watching on your phone at the same time? A phone by nature is a single person device.

      ...

      Now, if Cricket has opened up tethering like AT&T Prepaid does - that would be something noteworthy.
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