Cricket Wireless is one of the most popular repair cellular networks in the United States. Owned by AT&T, the network offers nationwide coverage, excellent service, and low-cost plans, which are ideal for anyone looking for affordable deals without sacrificing connectivity and reliability. If you’re on the lookout for a different cellular network or you want to have a new number, Cricket Wireless might just be the best option for you for its low price but extensive coverage.
In this post, we’ll talk about what Cricket Wireless is, what the coverage areas are, the different plans offered in 2023, and everything you need to know about the network. To make an informed decision when it comes to Cricket Wireless, this guide will help give you all the information you need.
What is Cricket Wireless?
Let’s first talk about what Cricket Wireless is. Cricket Wireless is a prepaid wireless cellular network owned by AT&T. It is known for its affordable deals while offering excellent nationwide coverage, and 5G connectivity. Cricket Wireless was acquired by AT&T in 2014, which means it belonged to a different company when it was founded. It was first launched in 1999 under the company, Leap Wireless International. The network was an MVNO, which stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. MVNOs are cellular networks that do not have their own cellular infrastructure, which means they utilise other network towers to be able to offer services.
In the case of Cricket Wireless, the company used the towers of Sprint, which was a CDMA network. CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access, a standard used for 3G connectivity. In 2014, Leap Wireless International was purchased by AT&T, which meant they also acquired Cricket Wireless, and no longer used the network towers of Sprint, since they have their own. Because of this acquisition, Cricket Wireless moved to AT&T’s GSM network (Global System for Mobiles), which is the standard for 4G LTE and 5G connectivity. Because of this change, Cricket Wireless users had to change their devices that had to be GSM compatible.
In 2020, Cricket Wireless announced it would be offering 5G coverage, and by 2022, the company announced they were shutting down its 3G networks, and would exclusively be offering 4G and 5G. Today, Cricket Wireless is completely owned by AT&T and because of this, offers the same coverage and service, but plans are more affordable.
How Good is the Cricket Network Tower?
The Cricket Wireless network towers are the same AT&T towers used across the country. Because they belong to the same company, connectivity and reliability are the same, which means it’s the 2nd largest in terms of coverage in the entire United States, only coming next to Verizon, which is considered to be the number 1 network.
Because AT&T owns Cricket Wireless, users can expect to enjoy the same service with only a few pockets of dead zones in the mountainous regions of the Western USA, such as Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, and Montana.
What are the Benefits of Using AT&T’s Network Infrastructure?
There are several benefits of using AT&T’s network infrastructure, including:
- Wide network coverage: AT&T has a broad network coverage in the United States, which means that Cricket Wireless customers can expect to have access to a reliable network connection in most areas.
- Advanced network technology: AT&T’s network infrastructure includes advanced technologies such as 5G, which provides faster internet speeds and improved network performance for its customers.
- Reliable network connection: AT&T’s network infrastructure is designed to provide a reliable network connection to its customers, which means that Cricket Wireless customers can expect to have a stable network connection even in areas with high network traffic.
- Affordable wireless services: By leveraging AT&T’s network infrastructure, Cricket Wireless is able to provide its customers with affordable wireless services without sacrificing network quality.
What Tower Does Cricket Wireless Use for its Reliable Coverage?
As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Cricket Wireless does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, it relies on the network infrastructure of its parent company, AT&T. This means that the tower that Cricket Wireless uses is the same tower that AT&T uses for its network coverage.
AT&T has a vast network of cell towers that are strategically placed to provide optimal network coverage to its customers. These cell towers use various technologies such as GSM, HSPA, LTE, and 5G to provide wireless services to its customers. As a Cricket Wireless customer, you can expect to receive the same high-quality network coverage that AT&T provides, as Cricket Wireless leverages the same network infrastructure.
In terms of coverage, Cricket Wireless offers 68% 4G coverage across the country, being the second best in the US.
Old Cricket vs. New Cricket
Before Cricket was purchased by AT&T, they were notorious for offering low-level connectivity and coverage because they were using Sprint’s CDMA towers. And because they were only utilising the network towers, they were often deprioritised by Sprint. Deprioritisation means service gets choppy in congested areas, as well as during peak hours. And since Cricket offers low-cost plans, they weren’t known for being the most reliable prepaid network.
When they were acquired by AT&T, their service improved, and enjoyed the very same coverage and connectivity as AT&T users. Their coverage also expanded, and from only offering 3G connectivity, are now offering 4G and 5G, which are stronger and faster when it comes to downloading speeds. In 2016, Cricket also started offering family plans and unlimited plans, which they didn’t offer before.
Cricket Wireless Coverage Map/Area
Cricket Wireless offers 5G service in major cities and most major highways in the US. Where 5G is not available, it provides 4G LTE connectivity, with 68% of the entire US covered.
For the best Cricket Wireless coverage, you can find it in the states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Indiana, where AT&T offers 99.9% coverage. The other states that have 98% to 99% coverage include the following:
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
For the lowest coverage and service, the state of Alaska is only covered by 11%, while the state of Maine only receives 46% 5G connectivity. Spotty service is also found in the mountainous regions of Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming. Reduced speeds and weaker signals also occur in more rural areas of the US.
List of Cricket Wireless’ Tower Partners
Cricket Wireless partners with multiple tower companies to provide coverage to its customers. These partners play a crucial role in ensuring that Cricket Wireless customers have access to reliable and high-quality network coverage. Here is a list of some of Cricket Wireless’ tower partners:
- American Tower Corporation
- Crown Castle International
- SBA Communications
It’s important to note that this list may not be exhaustive and Cricket Wireless may partner with additional tower companies. By partnering with multiple tower providers, Cricket Wireless is able to offer its customers a wide range of coverage options and ensure that they have access to the best possible network experience.
Is Cricket the Most Reliable Network?
The reliability of a network can be subjective and can vary depending on several factors such as network coverage, network performance, and network quality. However, with its network infrastructure and coverage, Cricket Wireless is considered to be a reliable network for its customers. As a Cricket Wireless customer, you can expect to have access to a reliable network connection in most areas and enjoy the advanced technologies such as 5G that AT&T provides.
It is important to note that the reliability of a network can also be affected by other factors such as network traffic and network congestion. In these cases, you may experience slower internet speeds or a less stable network connection. However, overall, Cricket Wireless is considered to be a reliable network for its customers.
How Cricket Wireless Coverage Can Compare to Other Networks?
With so many prepaid carriers in the US, it can be a challenge to compare Cricket to all of these networks. To better compare its service and coverage, we need only to take a look at the parent companies to be able to have an ideal comparison.
Parent companies mean the network towers being used by the repair network. And in Cricket’s case, it’s AT&T’s towers. In this section, we will compare Cricket with T-Mobile and Verizon, the other “Big Three” in the cellular network game, along with AT&T.
1. Cricket Vs. T-Mobile
T-Mobile is considered to be the 3rd largest cellular network in the US and offers strong coverage, fast data speeds, and for being the most well-known cellular service in the US. Their plans are expensive, though, and they do have their very own prepaid network, with is Metro by T-Mobile. Compared to Cricket, they have better coverage and connectivity because there is no risk of deprioritisation since all T-Mobile users are directly subscribed to the parent company.
2. Cricket Vs. Verizon
Verizon is the number 1 cellular network in the US because of its coverage and connectivity. They offer the most coverage area with fast data speeds and more places covered than Cricket Wireless and T-Mobile. However, being the best comes at a price, and they have one of the most expensive plans in the market.
3. Cricket Vs. Sprint
Let’s take a look at Sprint, which used to be the company Cricket used for its network connectivity. Sprint was acquired by T-Mobile but their towers still offer coverage, making them the 4th largest cellular network in the country with 27% of the nation having Sprint service.
Cricket Wireless, being an AT&T company, offers the same perks as AT&T users but since it’s a prepaid subsidiary, does suffer from deprioritisation from time to time.
What Other Carriers Use the Same Network Towers?
Many other prepaid cellular networks use the network infrastructure of AT&T to offer services. The following networks utilise AT&T’s towers, as well as that of other parent companies:
- Straight Talk
- PureTalk USA
- Consumer Cellular
- FreeUP Mobile
Other networks also use AT&T towers but also utilise T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon towers. Some of these include:
- Consumer Cellular
- Red Pocket
- Straight Talk
Users may think that networks offering services that utilise multiple towers may have better service but this isn’t true. If you’re a TracFone user, for example, your device will only be using one tower’s infrastructure. If you live in New York and experience choppy service, your device will not switch to the infrastructure of another network. Cricket Wireless stands out among these providers by being owned by AT&T, which is its parent company.
What Phones are Compatible with Cricket that Use Cricket Network?
Not all phones are compatible with the Cricket Network. First, you need to ensure the phone you use is compatible with the CDMA network, which means it must be able to detect 4G and 5G connectivity. Cricket Wireless sells the latest devices but you can also get the bundle plans, where your plan will be paying for your phone, but you will be under contract.
Some of the phones that are compatible with Cricket Wireless include the following:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 13/13 Pro
- iPhone 14
- Samsung Galaxy A01
- LG Fortune 3
- LG Harmony
- Alcatel Onyx
- Alcatel Insight
- And many more
Best Cricket Wireless Cell Phone Plans and Prices
Cricket Wireless offers a variety of cell phone plans to meet the needs of its customers. In 2023, the company is offering some of the best cell phone plans on the market, designed to provide excellent value and a great selection of features. Here are the best Cricket Wireless cell phone plans in 2023:
- Unlimited Plan: Cricket Wireless offers an unlimited plan that provides unlimited talk, text, and data for a low monthly price. This plan is a great choice for customers who use their phones frequently and need a lot of data. The price is $60 per month.
- 8 GB Plan: For customers who don’t need unlimited data, the 8 GB plan is a great choice. This plan provides plenty of data for most users, along with unlimited talk and text. The price is $50 per month.
- 5 GB Plan: The 5 GB plan is a great choice for customers who don’t need a lot of data but still want unlimited talk and text. This plan is more affordable than the 8 GB plan and is perfect for customers who use their phones primarily for talking and texting. The price is $40 per month.
- 2 GB Plan: The 2 GB plan is a great choice for customers who don’t need a lot of data and only use their phones occasionally. This plan is the most affordable option for customers who use their phones primarily for talking and texting. The price is $30 per month.
- International Plan: Cricket Wireless also offers an international plan that provides unlimited talk and text to more than 35 countries, along with 5 GB of data. This plan is a great choice for customers who travel frequently or need to make international calls. The price is $55 per month.
- Mobile Hotspot Plan: Cricket Wireless offers a mobile hotspot plan that provides unlimited data for use as a mobile hotspot. This plan is a great choice for customers who need to use their phones as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices. The price is $35 per month.
- Family Plan: Cricket Wireless offers a family plan that allows customers to share data between multiple lines. This plan is a great choice for families who need multiple lines but don’t want to pay for separate plans for each person. The price is starts at $30 per month per line.
- Prepaid Plan: Cricket Wireless also offers a prepaid plan that allows customers to pay for their service in advance. This plan is a great choice for customers who want to avoid a long-term commitment and enjoy the flexibility of paying as they go. The price is starts at $30 per month
- Military Plan: Cricket Wireless offers a military plan that provides unlimited talk, text, and data to military personnel and their families. This plan is a great choice for military personnel who need a reliable and affordable cell phone plan. The price is starts at $35 per month.
- 55+ Plan: Cricket Wireless also offers a 55+ plan that provides unlimited talk, text, and data to customers 55 and older. This plan is a great choice for older customers who need a reliable and affordable cell phone plan. The price is starts at $25 per month.
- 10GB Plan: This includes unlimited talk and text, 10GB of data speed, mo mobile hotspot data, and no contract. Price is $25 per month, but it has a catch. The $25 deal is only given when you get the plan for 1 year, and you need to pay $300 for the whole year.
- Core Unlimited Plan: This plan offers unlimited data, no mobile hotspot, and no contract. The price is $50 per month.
- More Unlimited: This plan offers unlimited data, talk, and text. It offers 15GB mobile hotspot data and no contract. The price is $55 per month.
These are the best Cricket Wireless cell phone plans in 2023. By offering a variety of plans with different features and pricing options, Cricket Wireless provides its customers with the best possible choice for their needs.
How Cricket Wireless is Working to Improve its Network Coverage?
Cricket Wireless is dedicated to providing its customers with high-quality network coverage. To achieve this goal, the company is constantly working to improve its network coverage and expand its network infrastructure. Here are a few ways that Cricket Wireless is working to improve its network coverage:
- Network Expansion: Cricket Wireless is expanding its network coverage to reach more areas and provide better service to its customers. The company is investing in new technologies and upgrading its existing network infrastructure to provide a more robust network experience.
- Strategic Partnerships: Cricket Wireless is partnering with other companies and organizations to expand its network coverage. For example, the company has a strategic partnership with T-Mobile that allows it to use T-Mobile’s network to provide better coverage to its customers.
- Investment in 5G: Cricket Wireless is investing in 5G technology to provide its customers with faster and more reliable network coverage. 5G technology offers faster download and upload speeds, lower latency, and improved network coverage, making it an important investment for the company.
- Network Optimization: Cricket Wireless is constantly optimizing its network to improve its coverage and provide a better experience for its customers. This includes using new technologies like small cells, which are small, low-power radio access nodes that can be used to improve network coverage in specific areas.
By focusing on network expansion, strategic partnerships, investment in 5G, and network optimization, Cricket Wireless is working to provide its customers with the best possible network coverage.
Factors Affecting Network Coverage
Network coverage is an important aspect of any mobile carrier’s service, as it directly affects the quality of service that customers receive. There are a number of factors that can impact network coverage, including:
- Terrain: The physical geography of an area can impact network coverage. For example, areas with dense vegetation, mountainous terrain, or bodies of water can block signals and reduce network coverage.
- Population Density: The number of people in an area can also impact network coverage. In densely populated areas, more infrastructure is required to provide adequate network coverage, while in rural areas there may be less infrastructure and therefore lower network coverage.
- Building Materials: The materials used in building construction can also impact network coverage. For example, buildings made of metal or concrete can block signals and reduce network coverage inside the building.
- Network Capacity: The capacity of a network can also impact network coverage. If a network is congested, it can result in slower speeds and reduced network coverage.
- Network Technology: Different types of network technology can also impact network coverage. For example, 5G technology offers faster download and upload speeds and lower latency, but it may not be available in all areas or may not be compatible with all devices.
- Network Maintenance: Regular network maintenance is required to ensure optimal network performance and coverage. If a network is not properly maintained, it can result in reduced network coverage.
- Weather Conditions: Weather conditions can also impact network coverage. For example, extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and heavy rain can damage network infrastructure and result in reduced network coverage.
These are some of the factors that can impact network coverage. By understanding these factors, customers can better understand why they may be experiencing reduced network coverage in certain areas and take steps to improve their network experience.
Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T’s network infrastructure and leverages the same cell towers that AT&T uses for its network coverage. As a Cricket Wireless customer, you can expect to receive the same high-quality network coverage and advanced technologies such as 5G that AT&T provides. Additionally, Cricket Wireless offers affordable wireless services without any hidden fees or long-term contracts, making it a great option for those who are looking for a budget-friendly wireless carrier. If you have any further questions about “What tower does Cricket Wireless use?” or the network infrastructure of Cricket Wireless, feel free to reach out to their customer service team for more information.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, Cricket Wireless is a GSM carrier, which means it will only be compatible with phones that are GSM-ready.
Yes, Cricket Wireless offers 5G coverage to its customers as it operates on AT&T’s network, which includes 5G coverage in select areas.
Cricket Wireless was acquired by AT&T in 2014, and it uses AT&T’s towers since 2015.
No, Cricket Wireless does not have its own cell towers. It operates on AT&T’s network infrastructure and leverages the same cell towers that AT&T uses for its network coverage.
No, Cricket does not use the cell towers of Verizon since they have their very own infrastructure, which are the towers owned by AT&T.
Cricket used to use Sprint towers when they were a separate company from AT&T. but since they were purchased in 2014, they have been using their own towers.
Cricket Wireless uses AT&T carrier towers since it is owned by the company, and has since moved away from the 3G coverage provided by the towers Sprint.