Cricket Wireless

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Cricket Wireless LLC
  • Wireless Telecommunications
Founded March 17, 1999; 18 years ago (1999-03-17)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Area served
United States
Key people
Melissa Arnodi (SVP, Technology & Operations)[1]
  • Mobile broadband devices
Parent Leap Wireless (1999–2014)
AT&T Inc. (2014–present)

Cricket Wireless LLC is an American prepaid wireless service provider in the United States. Cricket Wireless is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc. that offers mobile voice, text, and data. Cricket Wireless was founded in 1999 by Leap Wireless International, Inc. On July 12, 2013, AT&T Inc. agreed to acquire Cricket's parent company Leap Wireless International for $1.2 billion. The merger was approved by the Federal Communications Commission on March 13, 2014,[2] and later that same day, Leap Wireless announced the completion of its acquisition by AT&T.[3]


Typical Cricket retail store in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Cricket's first market was Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1999 and through much of its early growth became known as a network focused on small, rural markets.[4]

On September 4, 2007, competing carrier MetroPCS announced a $5.3 billion bid to merge with Leap Wireless.[5] Leap informally rejected the bid less than two weeks later.[6] MetroPCS officially withdrew the bid less than two months later, on November 1, 2007.[7]

Former Cricket Wireless logo, before acquisition by AT&T.

On September 17, 2007, Cricket launched Wireless Broadband Service using EV-DO.[8]

On December 12, 2007, Cricket agreed to acquire Hargray Communications Group's wireless telecommunications business.[9]

On April 8, 2008, Cricket launched in Oklahoma City.[10]

On September 29, 2008, Cricket announced that they had entered into a 10-year roaming agreement with MetroPCS covering both companies' existing and future markets. The companies also entered into a spectrum exchange agreement covering licenses in certain markets[11] and on November 13, 2008, Cricket launched "Premium Extended Coverage", a roaming partnership with 14 wireless companies.[12] On February 2009, Cricket launched in Chicago.

On March 10, 2009, Cricket launched in the Philadelphia market, including eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.[13]

On June 23, 2009, Cricket launched in the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets.[13]

On September 28, 2009, Cricket changed its domain name to "".[13]

On April 13, 2010, Cricket launched Cricket Navigator, a GPS application that offers audible turn-by-turn navigation, hyper-local search and maps.[14]

On August 2010, Cricket and Sprint signed a five-year wholesale agreement (MVNO) which allows Cricket to utilize Sprint's nationwide 3G EVDO network in the U.S.

On August 12, 2010, Cricket was a launch operator for the Kyocera Rio low cost touch phone.[15]

On May 31, 2012, Cricket announced the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S availability on its network.[16]

On September 5, 2012, Electronic retailer RadioShack in partnership with Leap launched RadioShack No Contract Wireless, the service is powered by Cricket.[17]

On October 21, 2012, Cricket discontinued its daily PayGO plans. [18]

On July 12, 2013, AT&T Inc. agreed to buy Cricket Wireless' parent for $1.2 billion and on March 13, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission approved the acquisition between AT&T and Leap Wireless.[2]

On May 18, 2014, Cricket's website ( and Aio Wireless's website ( were redirected to the new site. This signaled the beginning of operations as the new Cricket. GSM operations for Cricket Wireless began this day as well, all Aio Wireless dealer stores were officially converted to the Cricket brand and the Aio Wireless brand was retired.

On September 24, 2015 Cricket Wireless launched their variants of Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones. Cricket Wireless's advantage is their Cricket Protect insurance plan covering users from physical damage, water damage, loss, and theft. [19]

Coverage area[edit]

Cricket’s CDMA network used its home network and roaming agreements with Sprint, among other CDMA carriers. However, Cricket’s CDMA network was shut down and the spectrum was refarmed for use on AT&T’s HSPA+ and LTE networks.

Following the acquisition by AT&T, Cricket Wireless released devices that use AT&T’s 3G, 4G, and 4G LTE networks. Cricket Wireless now covers 99% of Americans and often boasts about their new, strong network since its coverage area is larger than that of T-Mobile (including MetroPCS,) and Sprint (including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.) Cricket Wireless users on the "Smart" and "Unlimited" plans can roam in Mexico and Canada at no additional costs.

Service rate plans[edit]

Cricket offers a variety of rate plans that include data allowance. Plans start at $30 for 2GB of full-speed data, $40 for 5GB of full-speed data, or $60 for unlimited full-speed data. Exceeding high-speed data allotments results in reduced data speed (throttling), up to a maximum of 128 kbit/s with the exception of the $60 unlimited plan, in which users are deprioritized after 22GB in heavily congested areas.[20] The base monthly price is reduced by $5/mo if Auto Pay is set-up.[21] Cricket's throttling use follows that of its competitors (T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, etc.). The 128kbit/s speeds reflect typical 2G/Edge data speeds.[22] Standard LTE network speeds are 8 Mbit/s while HSPA+ network speeds are 4 Mbit/s. As of October 2015, Cricket also offers unlimited talk, text, and data roaming in Mexico and Canada on plan tiers starting at $50/mo.[23]

Cricket also offers family plans, with the following prices:[24]

  • 2 Lines for $80
  • 3 Lines for $105
  • 4 Lines for $100
  • 5 Lines for $155

End of CDMA Service[edit]

Cricket Wireless noted on their old website[25] that CDMA service will be terminated as early as September 2015. Most devices prior to the merger will not be compatible on the GSM network except the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s. Compatible iPhone devices will only require a new SIM card, provided for $9.99[26] at any Cricket Wireless store or through Customer Service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Welch, Chris (March 13, 2014). "FCC approves AT&T's purchase of Leap Wireless, says it's 'in the public interest'". The Verge. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "AT&T/Leap Merger – March 13, 2014". 2014. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  4. ^ Sidener, Jonathan. "Something to talk about". Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  5. ^ Humer, Caroline (2007-09-04). "MetroPCS bids $5.3 billion for Leap Wireless". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  6. ^ "Leap Rejects MetroPCS Merger Offer". 2007-09-16. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  7. ^ Dano, Mike (2007-11-01). "Metro ditches bid for Leap". RCR Wireless News. Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  8. ^ "Leap Wireless – Media Relations – Press Release" (Press release). 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Leap Wireless – Media Relations – Press Release" (Press release). Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Leap Wireless – Media Relations – Press Release" (Press release). Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  11. ^ "Leap Wireless – Media Relations – Press Release" (Press release). Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Leap Wireless – Media Relations – Press Release" (Press release). 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  13. ^ a b c "Cricket Wireless News and Coverage". Prepaid Reviews. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  14. ^ "Cricket Launches New Navigation Solution". Business Wire. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  15. ^ Kyocera Rio E3100 Coming Soon! Archived 2012-07-19 at, PhoneWebZ
  16. ^ Moren, Dan (May 31, 2012). "Prepaid carrier Cricket leaps onto iPhone scene". Macworld. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  17. ^ " RadioShack No Contract Wireless confirmed, launches September 5 with exclusive Huawei Mercury Ice", Prepaid Mobile Phone Reviews, 2012-09-04
  18. ^
  19. ^ Cricket Protect Device Insurance Overview
  20. ^ "Unlimited Data Plan FAQ". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  21. ^ "Get a Cell Phone Plan Discount". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  22. ^ "Acceptable Use Policy". 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  23. ^ "Plans & Features FAQ". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2017-11-19. 
  24. ^ "Best Family Cell Phone Plans". 2017-11-19. Retrieved 2017-11-19. 
  25. ^ "Cricket CDMA network shutdown scheduled for September 15 has arrived", Prepaid Mobile Phone Reviews, 2015-09-15
  26. ^ Work at Cricket Wireless.\

External links[edit]