Pros / Cricket offers cheap individual and family plans on AT&T’s network.
Cons / Speed caps limit its unlimited plans.
Verdict / Cricket is an OK budget carrier with decent prices and slow data speeds.
Cricket Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) owned by AT&T. It runs on its parent company’s great network – ranked second in the nation by RootMetrics. This means Cricket has the same great coverage, reliability and call, text and data performance as AT&T. But there is one big caveat that can outweigh all Cricket’s benefits.
Though AT&T supports fast data speeds – our sister site Tom’s Guide tested its average speed across six cities at 25.6Mbps – Cricket Wireless caps its users’ speeds at a measly 8Mbps. If you’re a heavy data user, HD streamer, multitasker or mobile gamer, we recommend steering clear. Though 8Mbps is fast enough for things like browsing socials or checking email, there are other budget plans out there – like MetroPCS – that don’t put caps on data speeds.
That said, Cricket is a viable option if you’re on AT&T but want to save some money because you don’t need high-speed data. Plans start at $30 a month for 2GB of 4G data. The Basic Plan costs $40 a month for 5GB of 4G, and you can add up to four additional lines at a discount. If you use up your data allotment before the end of your billing cycle, you can add as much data as you want for $10 per gigabyte.
Cricket offers two tiers of unlimited data plans: Cricket Unlimited and Cricket Unlimited 2. Both plans offer unlimited talk, text and data, and you can add 8GB of hotspot data for $10. The Unlimited 2 plan costs $55 a month, and the Unlimited is $60. Both are eligible for a $5 discount if you enroll in autopay on the primary line. After using 22GB of your “high-speed” data, your data usage is deprioritized, so your speeds slow down even more. The Unlimited 2 plan is the same as the Unlimited plan, but its speeds are even slower – throttled to 3 Mbps.
Cricket uses a large, reliable network thanks to its parent company AT&T. Price-wise, it’s comparable to other MVNOs like MetroPCS and Boost Mobile, but its 8 Mbps data speed cap puts it at a distinct disadvantage. We recommend looking into all your options by checking out coverage maps of your area to see which networks work where you typically use your phone. If AT&T is the best network in your area and you’re a light data user, Cricket is a good option.