Cricket Wireless

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Cricket Wireless LLC
Founded 1999 (1999)
Area served
United States
Key people
Jennifer Van Buskirk, President
Products Mobile phones
Services Wireless
Parent AT&T Inc.

Cricket Wireless is a prepaid provider of wireless voice, text, and data services, subsidiary of AT&T Inc. As of 2011, it provided prepaid wireless services to approximately 4.6 million subscribers in the United States.[1] 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.

Leap Wireless launched Cricket Wireless first market in Chicago Illinois on March 17, 1999.[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 Logo, before AT&T takeover

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 the 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 launched 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.

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.

On May 18, 2014, all Aio Wireless dealer stores were officially converted to the Cricket brand and the Aio Wireless brand was retired.

Coverage areas[edit]

Cricket's CDMA subscribers are covered in about 97% of the United States using its home network and roaming agreements with Sprint, among other CDMA carriers. Following the acquisition by AT&T, Cricket Wireless released devices using AT&T's GSM, 3G, HSPA+, and 4G LTE network. Cricket Wireless customers have coverage in 98% of the United States on the AT&T network.

Simple rate plans and data throttling[edit]

Cricket offers a variety of rate plans that include data allowance. Cricket provides three smartphone plans with different monthly data allowances. The plans start off at $35* for 2.5GB of full-speed data, or $45* for 5 GB of full-speed data, or $55* for 10 GB of full-speed data. Cricket is currently offering 20GB of full-speed data for $55, but only for a limited time. This is 2X more data for the same price of the 10GB plan. Exceeding high-speed data allotments results in reduced data speed (throttling), up to a maximum of 128 kbps. Cricket's throttling use follows that of its competitors (T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, etc.) The 128kbps speeds reflect typical 2G/Edge data speeds. *price reflects a $5 autopay discount. [17] Standard LTE network speeds are 8 mbps while HSPA network speeds are 4 mbps. Their ads on 2014 FIFA World Cup Soccer began offering service at $35 a month.

End of CDMA Service[edit]

Cricket Wireless noted on their old website that CDMA service will be terminated as early as March 2015. Most devices prior to the merger will not be compatible on the GSM network except some later model iPhones.

Partnership with RadioShack[edit]

On September 5, 2012, RadioShack, in a partnership with Cricket Wireless, began offering its own branded wireless service using Cricket's nationwide network. RadioShack No Contract Wireless offers exactly the same rate plans and services as Cricket. Although RadioShack offers and markets product packaging and other aspects under its own brand, little changes are actually made on the smartphones themselves as most services on them are still branded Cricket. As of August 7, 2014, the service will be discontinued. Phones purchased prior to August 7, 2014 will remain in service and current customers may still use their devices. However, all support will cease at a later date.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Company Information | Cricket Wireless". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  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. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  4. ^ "About". Leap Wireless. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  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. 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!, PhoneWebZ
  16. ^ Moren, Dan (May 31, 2012). "Prepaid carrier Cricket leaps onto iPhone scene". Macworld. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Acceptable Use Policy". 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 

External links[edit]