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AT&T brings us the new GSM-based Cricket: plans as low as $35, savings for multi-lines
Back in March we learned that AT&T had acquired the rights to Cricket Wireless and planned to phase out its own prepaid carrier AIO Wireless in favor of the more established brand name. At the time, AT&T revealed that the “New Cricket” would essentially operate the same as AIO Wireless had and would use GSM over CDMA technology.
Now that the transition is complete, AT&T has now fully launched its new Cricket initiative. That means you can now go online or to any Cricket store to activate great new plans that utilize AT&T’s GSM technology. Admittedly the plans and features are very familiar to those who followed AIO’s pricing and features, though with a few minor twists.
There are four ‘tiers’ when it comes to phone plans. On the low-end with have a $25 plan for those that want unlimited talk, text and no data. For those that need data but don’t consume tons, you can also pay just $40 and get unlimited talk, text and 500MB high-speed data. After you use up your high-speed data you’ll be throttled down to speeds that should be good enough for browsing the web and checking email, but that’s about it.
Towards the top-end, there’s a $50 plan that adds 2.5GB data and a $60 plan that gives you 5GB. All of these plans also offer the ability to add on an extra gig (either one-time or on a monthly basis) for $10. Additionally, all plans are reduced down by $5 if you sign up for auto-pay, and taxes are included in all the plan prices — so no worrying about hidden fees.
Probably one of the most exciting features for Cricket, however, is the Group Save option. In a way, this works a bit like Sprint’s Framily plans but without the separate billing. If you have two lines in total, you get $10 savings, your 3rd line will get another $20 over, a 4th line gets another $30 off… You get the idea.
If you live in an area with solid AT&T coverage, Cricket is without a doubt one of the best choices if you’re into saving money. A word of caution though: AIO had a stipulation in place that throttled high-speed use down to 4MB for HSPA+ and 8MB for LTE, and it’s very likely Cricket carries the same policy. Whether this is a deal breaker or not depends on how much the extra speed means to you.