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PLEASE tell me why I shouldn't switch from AT&T to Cricket?

I was about to drop my current FamilyShare plan to save money on a MobileShare Value plan on AT&T. And now I just noticed that Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and it appears I can get a better plan for less money. So I am trying to figure out if there are any catches?

AT&T: 2GB per month (shared between my two phones), unlimited calling etc, will be around $95 per month INCLUDING my 20% FAN discount.

Cricket: I can get a 500mb plan for my wife and a 2.5GB plan for myself, and the total including all taxes is $80 per month. Cricket has no data limits, but the data I mentioned here is for "LTE Data" after which they throttle you back to 2G (128kbps!!!) data. You can pay $10 to get another gig of LTE data if you needed it, but I will never hit 2.5GB. My wife might go over 500mb once or twice a year.

Cricket is OWNED BY AT&T and uses the GSM/LTE network.

I am trying to determine whether I'm missing anything, and of course neither Cricket nor AT&T can tell me about the other or cross sell against them. I'm sure AT&T is a bit cautious that they don't want the floodgates to open and have every AT&T customer defect to the sister company.

Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks so much


#1 Hogan773, Jun 26, 2014
Cricket throttles LTE speeds to 8mbps and HSPA speeds to 4mbps before you hit your cap. These speeds are plenty for general usage though so it might not be that big of a deal.

Edit: Since this is about Cricket rather than the GS3, I have moved this thread to the Cricket section.
#2 jhawkkw, Jun 26, 2014

Thanks. That was one of my observations since Cricket says "LTE Data Speeds up to 8mbps" and while I haven't run SpeedTest in a long while because it immediately eats up like 50 or 100mb of data in running its test, I recall the AT&T network giving speeds of 15-20mbps when I first checked a couple years ago.

The other "difference" is that a MobileShare plan offers Mobile Hotspot Tethering, where Cricket says it does not. I don't use it currently as my FamilyShare doesn't offer it, but if I went to Cricket can I still use FOXFI to tether to an IPad? I believe Foxfi doesnt work on WIFI on KitKat, but does the iPad have bluetooth capability such that I could use bluetooth tethering using Foxfi?

And to your point about throttling, can you tell me from a technical standpoint does throttling go on a PROPORTIONATE basis or just a hard limit on speed? By that I mean, if I am in an area where the network is delivering 25mbps speed it will throttle to 8mpbs on Cricket. But if I am in an area with weaker coverage, such that the max speed through LTE is 9mbps, would I still be allowed to pull 8mbps at that time, or would I be throttled back to 3mbps or something that represents some fraction of whatever the nominal speed is at that connection point?

Anyone else have any words of wisdom? If I can truly get 8mbps and 2.5gb and save another $15 per month vs AT&Ts 2.0gb plan then I'm leaning to doing it
#3 Hogan773, Jun 26, 2014
I don't have any personal experience with it, but from what I've seen it should be 8mbps regardless unless there's serious congestion. Tethering on a prepaid carrier/plan that doesn't allow it can sometimes be risky because they have the power to cut you off for a TOS violation. Then again, I've seen some people fly under the radar while others get caught. So your mileage may vary.
#4 jhawkkw, Jun 26, 2014
I'm not an expert with this stuff - how do they know that I'm tethering if I used Foxfi via bluetooth? I thought the whole point of Foxfi was that it faked out the system somehow

I'm not THAT worried about them cutting me off though as I doubt they'd kill my business just for minor tethering for me to use an Ipad on the train or in a car. I'm not planning to use tether to eliminate my Comcast broadband at home or anything. And if they want to cancel me then I'd just go back to AT&T I guess
#5 Hogan773, Jun 26, 2014
Foxfi gets around the basic software lock that the phones have that links to the carrier enabling it. However tethering can be detected through packet analysis because the requesting IP won't match the IP assigned to the device. Normally every packet isn't investigated, but if you give them a reason to examine them (such as excessive usage), they're more likely to look.
#6 jhawkkw, Jun 26, 2014
So Cricket isn't actually as fast as AT&T? Because I'm contemplating either switching AT&T to Cricket(5GB data- 60 dollars), or T-Mobile (3GB data-60 dollars). But I'm torn on which to do as well. If I could get the same exact service I do from AT&T, that'd be great.
#7 bg1287, Jul 25, 2014
Correct. With Cricket they throttle download speeds, you have access to download speeds up to 4 Mbps on our 4G HSPA+ service or up to 8 Mbps with our LTE service.

When you reach your monthly data limit data access speeds will be reduced to a maximum 128 kbps until the end of your monthly service period.

#8 kate, Jul 25, 2014
I use the new Cricket , I have the pro plan for 60 dollars a month total . I get 20 gigs of high speed data per month , as far as speed , I burn youtube up no problems at all , I only use my phone for internet access works great . I recently downloaded software and drivers for a nvidia video card , downloaded it to my pc , worked great , I really like the new cricket on at&t , where I live it smokes verizon and all others.
#9 mmkkpro, Mar 22, 2015
Welcome to the forums! :)
#10 EarlyMon, Mar 22, 2015
Thanks EarlyMon , good to be here love my android !!
#11 mmkkpro, Mar 22, 2015
Glad you like and enjoy, welcome to the site, cheers
#12 DonB, Mar 23, 2015
I seriously hope the OP went with Cricket. I used Straight Talk for years after a plan on T-Mobile that specifically had no roaming charged me $300 for roaming 3 days. A few months ago, I went over my 3 GB data limit on straight talk. I was surprised because it was the first time in 6 years. I had recently upgraded to a Nexus 5 and figured that was the cause. I started looking for a better plan. Enter T-Mobile. It looked great but I had reservations based on my past with them. I went to Walmart looking for the SIM card. I spoke to the rep, who is way too knowledgeable about technology to be working at Walmart, and he advised that T-Mobile doesn't work well outside highway areas. He said I would probably get service if I were traveling but not to expect it. That was a serious downer. He went on to say that the service is not good in our area (Madison, WI.) I didn't know what to do. I felt trapped. He said cricket has better service and since they are AT&T, you're basically getting that for an attractive price. I was lucky enough to do this during a promo there advanced plan, which is unlimited talk, text, and 20 GB for $55 a month. I am very, very happy with Cricket. I stream videos constantly and am always shipping online. The speed is as expected, no slowing or delays. I have only used 15 GB per month, so I can't say how speeds are very close to the cap. I have excellence reception and no issues. I would recommend Cricket to anyone.
#13 zombeania, Apr 13, 2015
from my personal use of cricket (aio as well)for about 24 months I had a friend and me go through our call logs and sure enough I had some missed calls. I missed text messages with pictures. maybe its a nexus 4 issue...but I also had people call and it go straight to vm. Also my wife had just got a lg g2 and had no signal whereas her parents on at&t did have signal while driving in a car together. Consistently...
#14 vinceisvince, May 19, 2015
You should be able to both get $2.5 gb for $70 on cricket
#15 MattySnipes, Jul 5, 2015
1. LTE Max Speed 8MBPS and HSPA+ Max Speed 4MBPS with Cricket
2. Prepaid versus Postpaid Taxes/Surcharges Less with Cricket and price all is included in price
3. Prepaid versus Postpaid Cricket No Grace Period Miss a Payment or declined NO SERVICE-Cricket
3. Roaming Partners AT&T has more Coverage in rural areas and Cricket Access to AT&T Network but not Roaming partners (this could of changed but to my knowledge no)
4. Phones: Pay Full Price No Discount No Contract with Cricket
5. International Access: Cricket only has access to Mexico and AT&T Access to the World
6. International Calling: Cricket has unlimited for a fee and only can be added to 50.00 or higher plan and AT&T does an option for pay per minute with any plan. Cricket plan under 50.00 PLAN NO INTERNATIONAL CALLING AND NO PAY PER MINUTE OPTION
7. Overall comparing price to features Cricket is the winner in my books. International access you can use a different sim chip and calling you can get a 800 service or card. I also love the feature you can add 1GB of Data at anytime for 10.00 if you max out your data allowance.
#16 panthdave, Jul 13, 2015
I was told by a AT&T Wireless Engineer that the real difference between the two is that when there is congestion on the network, and whereas there may also be too many users on one tower that AT&T becomes the dominant carrier whereas Cricket Wireless customers will get a message on their phone that says "congestion". I have experienced this before with Cricket Wireless during peak usage times. This means the calls you place or receive don't go through until the network handles the AT&T Wireless customers first, then once congestion dies down the Cricket customer is able to resume calling. With AT&T Wireless customers they always are given 'priority status' when placing calls on the network versus Cricket Wireless. I had AT&T Wireless before coming over to Cricket, and I also have Verizon Wireless for work cell phone. There is a major difference between the coverage and clarity of AT&T and Verizon. The price differential between AT&T and Cricket is substantial enough to switch if you don't rely on the Cricket phone for important calls coming in, or have an issue getting "congestion" messages on your Cricket phone during peak times (i.e., 7:00-9:00 AM Mon-Fri and weekend evenings). Other than that Cricket is good.
#17 John Savage, Jul 26, 2015
I have had cricket for two years in a major metropolitan area and never experienced congestion.
#18 stevedec, Jul 26, 2015
I am in South Florida which you all know is very congested and never experienced a congested message since December 2014 when I switched to Cricket...but I would assume that is true if the circuit is congested AT&T will be priority since their service costs more but again never experienced that message nor any calls failed.
#19 panthdave, Jul 26, 2015
I've had no congestion with Cricket either, I'm also in S Fl., but I have missed the odd call here and there. I can say this is not only a thing with Cricket, when I had Sprint I would miss the odd call here and there, same goes for TMO when I had them, I also have a friend on Verizon who also misses the odd call here and there, and yes without the phone ringing at all. So it happens to all carriers IMO ;)
#20 DonB, Jul 27, 2015
My personal phone is a nexus 5 on cricket and my work phone is a GS5 on AT&T. When I go hiking/camping a few hours outside the city, I do notice that the AT&T phone seems to always have an LTE signal while the cricket phone will intermittently cycle through LTE, H, G, and no service at all even when I'm not moving around. So I do think there's something to what an earlier poster wrote about AT&T phones having some type of priority in areas with fewer towers. I also think the N5 has crappy radios that exacerbate any type of coverage issues. Other than that, no problems at all with cricket's 8mbps cap, very happy with the service overall.
#21 Postmasterp, Aug 18, 2015
My month ends on the 13th of next month with Virgin and I have finally had enough. I am a low user for data, mostly text messages, but I just cant handle the Sprint network any longer. I have an S4 coming from ebay, along with a sim card, going to try Cricket, if I dont like it, t mobile will be next, since my phone is unlocked.
#22 Watagump, Aug 18, 2015
I find that AT&T/cricket has better coverage than T-Mobile.
#23 stevedec, Aug 18, 2015
I have a feeling I made the right choice. I did go into Verizon yesterday, the guy said their $45 plan was all inclusive of taxes etc. Yet, online seems to say there are taxes etc. He also said they had the S4 for $199, brand new, yet their site says they have them as refurbs. So I got the feeling he lied.
#24 Watagump, Aug 19, 2015
I got a brand new still in the box unlocked S4 on eBay for $300. Slipped in a cricket SIM and running ever since.
#25 stevedec, Aug 19, 2015