eSIM, or embedded SIM, technology allows devices to connect to mobile networks without the use of a physical SIM card. Instead, the SIM profile is integrated into the device hardware. Cricket’s eSIM service launched in 2020, allowing compatible phones to activate service through an eSIM rather than a physical SIM card. cricket esim
Cricket was a late entrant to the eSIM market compared to other major providers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, which launched the eSIM service in 2018. However, Cricket provides a competitive alternative for no-contract prepaid wireless service with eSIM capability.
This article provides an overview of Cricket’s eSIM service and how it compares to eSIM offerings from other prepaid MVNOs. Key factors like plan options, coverage, device compatibility, customer service, and more are explored. While Cricket lags behind parent company AT&T in some regards, it remains a budget-friendly eSIM option for many users.
Coverage cricket esim
Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T’s nationwide 4G LTE network, providing customers with coverage across most of the United States. Cricket boasts coverage in all 50 states, with over 99% of Americans having access to their network.
Cricket’s coverage is on par with major nationwide carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. While Cricket may not have as strong rural coverage as Verizon, their coverage in suburban and urban areas rivals the top carriers. Cricket also matches AT&T’s coverage since they utilize the same network towers.
One advantage Cricket has over MVNOs like Straight Talk and Boost Mobile is that MVNOs must purchase network access from the major carriers. This sometimes results in lower-priority data compared to the main carrier. Since Cricket is owned by AT&T, they get the full network experience.
Overall, Cricket provides excellent nationwide coverage that matches or beats most discount and prepaid carriers. Customers can enjoy reliable service in cities and suburbs across the U.S. Cricket still lags behind Verizon for rural coverage but provides robust coverage where most Americans live and work.
Data Speeds cricket esim
Cricket Wireless advertises LTE download speeds of 8–10 Mbps and 3-6 Mbps for uploads. However, based on recent speed tests conducted by PCMag, Cricket’s average download speed is 16.3 Mbps, and its average upload speed is 7.5 Mbps. This makes Cricket one of the faster low-cost carriers, though speeds can vary greatly by location.
Cricket uses the AT&T network for coverage, so speeds are dependent on the available AT&T towers and bands in your area. Speeds are typically tested outdoors in optimal conditions during daytime hours. Cricket may throttle speeds for heavy data users on unlimited plans after 22GB of usage per month.
In comparison, Verizon averages 36.9 Mbps down and 9.6 Mbps up based on PCMag’s testing. AT&T averages 32.9 Mbps down and 9.2 Mbps up. And T-Mobile averages 28.9 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up. So the major carriers edge out Cricket in average speeds, but Cricket still provides reasonably fast LTE performance for a value carrier.
Cricket Wireless offers a variety of plan options to meet different data needs and budgets. Their smartphone plans start at $30/month for 5GB of high-speed data and go up to $60/month for unlimited data. The main choices for individuals are:
For families or groups, they offer a $90/month Cricket More plan that includes unlimited data and 5 lines. Adding more lines beyond 5 costs $30 per month per line.
Compared to other prepaid carriers, Cricket’s plans are competitively priced. For example, Metro by T-Mobile has smartphone plans starting at $30/month for 2GB of data, while Boost Mobile starts at $35/month for 3GB. For unlimited high-speed data, Metro charges $50/month, and Boost charges $50–$60/month, depending on the plan.
So Cricket provides a good balance of affordable single-line plans as well as group and family plans. Their pricing is on par or lower than competitors, making them an attractive option for many smartphone users looking to save money.
Cricket offers a wide range of compatible devices to choose from. You can either purchase a new phone directly from Cricket or bring your compatible, unlocked device to use on their network.
Some of the most popular phones that work on Cricket’s network include:
- Apple iPhone models range from the iPhone 6 up to the latest iPhone models, like the iPhone 14.
- Samsung Galaxy S and Note series models.
- Google Pixel models.
- Motorola smartphones such as the Moto G Stylus 5G.
Cricket uses the AT&T network, which means most GSM-unlocked phones should work. Be sure to check their website or customer support for a full compatibility list before purchasing a phone or switching over.
One of the benefits of Cricket is that you can bring your own existing unlocked device, including most iPhones and Android smartphones. This allows you to save money upfront rather than purchasing a new phone. You’ll simply need to purchase a Cricket SIM card.
Cricket also offers device financing options to pay for a new phone over months with no interest. This can make getting the latest flagship phones more affordable.
Overall, Cricket provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to device compatibility and choice. You can buy the latest iPhone or Galaxy directly from them, bring your own phone, or finance a device. Just ensure any phone you obtain is unlocked and compatible with their network bands before switching.
Cricket Wireless offers customer service through a few different channels. Customers can reach customer support by phone, through live chat on Cricket’s website, by texting with a representative, or through Cricket’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Reviews of Cricket’s customer service are generally positive. Many customers report friendly and helpful interactions with customer support representatives who can quickly resolve issues. Average wait times to speak to a representative by phone are around 5-10 minutes, which is on par or better than some other prepaid carriers like Metro by T-Mobile. Cricket also offers 24/7 support for most issues, whereas some competitors have more limited hours.
Compared to the major postpaid carriers like Verizon and AT&T, Cricket’s customer service options are a bit more limited. For example, Verizon offers customer support through phone, chat, social media, email, community forums, and retail stores. However, considering Cricket’s affordable prepaid plans, their customer service offers solid options to get help when needed. Satisfaction with Cricket’s support tends to be higher than prepaid carriers like Straight Talk but not as high as postpaid networks. However, for a budget-friendly carrier, Cricket delivers satisfactory customer service.
Cricket offers its 4G/5G wireless phone service throughout the United States, primarily focused on major metropolitan and suburban areas. Cricket has over 2,800 retail store locations nationwide, allowing customers to visit a store to purchase phones or get set up.
Cricket service is available to purchase online through their website for quick and easy signup. Customers can either sign up online and receive SIM cards in the mail or pick up devices and services at a Cricket retailer.
Cricket is owned by AT&T, so it leverages AT&T’s nationwide network. Coverage maps on the Cricket website can show if service will be available for a customer’s location before signing up. Cricket and AT&T have agreements in place for roaming coverage if a customer travels outside of Cricket’s regular coverage area.
Perks of Cricket Wireless
Cricket Wireless offers several nice perks for its customers. One is the Cricket Rewards program, which allows customers to earn points for things like paying their bills on time, referring friends, and more. These points can be redeemed for account credits, free phones, accessories, and other rewards.
Cricket also frequently offers deals for customers switching from other carriers, such as discounts on new phones, waived activation fees, and account credits. They often have seasonal promotions around major holidays and shopping events.
Additionally, Cricket customers get access to certain streaming services and benefits. For example, certain plan levels include a subscription to HBO Max at no extra cost. This allows customers to stream hit shows, movies, and more on HBO Max without having to pay the normal subscription fee.
Overall, Cricket aims to provide nice extras on top of reliable cell phone service. The rewards programs, streaming perks, and switcher deals make their offerings attractive for many consumers. These types of perks add value beyond just the core talk, text, and data plans.
Cricket’s eSIM plan does have some drawbacks that customers have complained about over the years. Here are some of the key areas that could use improvement:
Account management frustrations – Some customers report difficulty managing their Cricket account online or through the mobile app. Features like changing plans or adding new lines can be convoluted. The account interface could be streamlined.
Customer service wait times – Cricket’s customer service hold times are longer than some competitors. Customers have complained of waiting 30 minutes or more to speak to an agent. More customer service staffing could help reduce wait times.
De-prioritized data speeds – Cricket limits data speeds for customers on unlimited plans when the network is congested. This “de-prioritization” can result in slower data speeds during busy times. They could reduce the impact of de-prioritization for a better customer experience.
Limited phone selection – Cricket’s selection of devices is smaller than other carriers, especially when it comes to higher-end phones. Expanding their range of device offerings could attract new customers.
Few perks for loyal customers – Unlike some competitors, Cricket does not offer many perks or rewards for long-time subscribers. Adding a formal loyalty program could help retain valuable subscribers.
Cricket offers competitive coverage, fast data speeds, and flexible no-contract plans compared to other prepaid providers. With access to AT&T’s nationwide 4G LTE network and affordable prices for unlimited data, Cricket is a great option for budget-conscious users who want maximum data without being locked into a contract.
However, Cricket does cap data speeds and restrict mobile hotspot usage on cheaper plans. Video streaming quality may suffer, especially during network congestion. Customer service response times can also be slow when contacting support. Compatibility with some unlocked devices is limited too.
Overall, Cricket delivers reliable nationwide coverage with generous data caps and no annual contracts. The value is tough to beat for individual users who stream a reasonable amount of video and can accept slower speeds at peak times. Heavy media streamers may want to compare with Metro by T-Mobile, which offers full HD streaming and 100GB of LTE data through Microsoft 365 subscriptions. But Cricket remains a competitive prepaid wireless provider for most mainstream users, focused on maximizing high-speed data.
If you are visiting the United States, here are some of the best US prepaid eSIM prices: