What Network Towers Does Cricket Use? (Detailed Guide)
Cricket Wireless is one of the largest and most well-known wireless service providers in the United States. It provides a wide range of high-quality cellular phones, excellent accessories, low-cost prepaid plans, dependable services with no annual contracts, and frequent special deals on plans and devices.
The provider is well-known for providing free next-business-day shipping, no overage charges for calls, texts, and data, and responsive customer service.
Cricket Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it does not have its own cellular towers but instead has an agreement with one of the largest carriers to use their cellular towers and network.
In this article, we’ll look at what towers Cricket uses, how good its coverage is, whether its network is reliable, and much more. Let’s get started.
WHAT NETWORK TOWERS DOES CRICKET USE?
Leap Wireless International established Cricket Wireless in March 1999. Sprint’s cellular towers and nationwide CDMA network were previously used by the company. AT&T acquired Leap Wireless International in March 2014 and merged Cricket’s operations with Aio Wireless.
Cricket began a phased shutdown of their CDMA network in March 2015, with the goal of transitioning all users to AT&T’s GSM network by September 2015. By that point, all customers had to purchase new devices in order to continue using Cricket’s network and services.
Cricket Wireless followed AT&T in shutting down their 2G network in 2016. Users with older and less capable mobile devices were required to upgrade in order to access Cricket’s newer networks.
Cricket will launch its 5G nationwide network in August 2020, and the provider plans to shut down its 3G network in February 2022, leaving customers with only 4G LTE and 5G networks. To keep things as simple as possible, Cricket Wireless uses AT&T’s cellular towers and nationwide network as of 2015.
HOW GOOD IS THE CRICKET NETWORK TOWER?
Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and operates on their network, so the quality of Cricket’s towers and network is entirely dependent on the quality of AT&T’s towers and network.
AT&T and its MVNOs (including Cricket) have one of the best networks in the United States. In terms of network coverage, the network is second only to Verizon, with the new T-Mobile (T-Mobile and Sprint) coming in third.
Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T’s second-best network in the country, but at significantly lower prices. As a result, many of AT&T’s MVNOs, particularly Cricket Wireless, are a popular alternative to the large carrier.
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CRICKET WIRELESS COVERAGE MAP/AREA
Cricket’s coverage is dependent on AT&T’s. AT&T’s coverage, as well as the coverage of all their MVNOs, is quite impressive given that the company has approximately 10000 towers located throughout the country and connects over 99 percent of the population.
Because AT&T’s towers are not evenly distributed across the country, it is critical to determine whether or not Cricket provides adequate coverage in your specific area. In Delaware, Indiana, and New Jersey, AT&T has the best coverage (99.99 percent ). They also provide superior coverage in the states listed below.
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
They have by far the worst coverage in Alaska (only 11%), and they also have poor coverage in Maine (46 percent ). In Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming, coverage may be spotty.
Customers can still make calls, send messages, and use data because AT&T has roaming agreements in the majority of areas with spotty coverage. Cricket should theoretically have the same coverage as AT&T, but as an MVNO, it may experience slower speeds and weaker signals during peak times.
As can be seen on Cricket’s official website, service is available in the majority of the country. In Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, coverage is patchy.
Customers in these states, however, receive reliable service in populated areas and may only have difficulty obtaining a strong signal in more rural areas.
Visit cricketwireless.com/map.html and enter your address or ZIP code to check Cricket’s coverage in your area. The system will display your location on a map and notify you of the strength of coverage in that area.
Please keep in mind that the coverage map on Cricket’s website is only an approximation of wireless voice and data coverage. Coverage varies depending on terrain, buildings, signal strength, and other factors.
HOW CRICKET WIRELESS COVERAGE CAN COMPARE TO OTHER NETWORKS?
Cricket Wireless is superior to other AT&T MVNOs. Sure, we can compare Cricket’s network to AT&T’s, but the parent company has a slight advantage in terms of signal strength and data speeds over its MVNOs, especially during peak times. Consumer Cellular, Straight Talk, FreeUP Mobile, H2O Wireless, PureTalk USA, and other AT&T MVNOs are also available.
Because Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T (as opposed to the other AT&T MVNOs) and is the largest of AT&T’s MVNOs, it may have slightly better coverage than the other AT&T MVNOs.
It’s best to compare Cricket Wireless to other similar-sized wireless providers by comparing their parent networks.
We can safely assume that Verizon’s MVNOs have slightly better coverage than AT&T’s MVNOs and T-MVNOs Mobile’s have slightly worse coverage than AT&T’s MVNOs because Verizon has the best coverage in the United States, AT&T has the second-best, and T-Mobile has the third-best (note: all of these major 3 carriers have excellent coverage).
IS THE CRICKET WIRELESS NETWORK MOST RELIABLE NETWORK? HOW RELIABLE IS IT?
Cricket’s network is undeniably dependable. In fact, because it is the only one owned by AT&T, Cricket Wireless may have the most reliable network of all AT&T’s MVNOs. However, because Verizon’s network covers a larger geographical area, Verizon’s MVNOs may have slightly better coverage than Cricket Wireless.
It is important to note that the coverage differences between the major three carriers (and thus their MVNOs) are very small, and that they all provide excellent networks.
Verizon’s 4G LTE network covers 70% of the territory, AT&T’s 4G LTE network covers 68% of the territory, and T-4G Mobile’s LTE network covers 62% of the United States. They all cover more than 99 percent of the US population and may only have weak or patchy reception in remote rural areas.
WHAT OTHER CARRIERS USE THE SAME NETWORK TOWERS?
All mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) operate on one or more of the major networks, which include Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Cricket Wireless, as an AT&T MVNO, uses the same network towers as AT&T and all of AT&T’s other MVNOs.
List of MVNOs that only use AT&T’s network:
- Cricket Wireless
- FreeUP Mobile
- Good2Go Mobile
- H2O Wireless
List of MVNOs that use AT&T’s and other carriers’ networks:
- Consumer Cellular (AT&T and T-Mobile)
- FreedomPop (AT&T and Sprint)
- Net10 (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint)
- Red Pocket (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint)
- Straight Talk (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint)
- TracFone (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint)
The MVNOs that use towers and networks from multiple carriers may appear to have far superior coverage; however, because each individual customer only has access to one network (depending on the device they choose and where they live), the actual coverage is essentially the same as that of the MVNOs that only use one network.
Cricket Wireless may have a slight advantage over the other MVNOs owned by AT&T because it is the only one owned by the parent company.
WHICH NETWORK TECHNOLOGY AND DEVICES DOES CRICKET WIRELESS USE?
As previously stated, Cricket Wireless previously used Sprint’s towers and network, and as such, it used CDMA network technology and mobile devices. Cricket began transitioning to GSM technology, which AT&T uses, in 2015, a year after being acquired by AT&T.
Because only GSM-enabled devices can use AT&T’s GSM network, Cricket Wireless was forced to ask all of its customers to switch to GSM cell phones or risk losing access to Cricket’s services.
Cricket Wireless has been using GSM network technology and selling GSM-enabled mobile devices since September 2015.
DOES CRICKET WIRELESS HAVE ANY PLANS THAT USE OTHERS NETWORK?
Cricket Wireless was only recently acquired by AT&T, and it appears that both AT&T and Cricket Wireless are pleased with the new agreement. AT&T has gained millions of new subscribers, and Cricket Wireless now has access to AT&T’s priority nationwide network.
As a result, it doesn’t appear that Cricket Wireless will change owners or networks anytime soon. However, the provider intends to discontinue its 3G network in February 2022 and continue to provide customers with only 4G LTE and 5G networks.
WHAT PHONES ARE COMPATIBLE WITH CRICKET THAT USE CRICKET NETWORK?
Cricket Wireless has a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program that allows customers to connect their own device to the network. The device brought by the customer must be unlocked, GSM-capable, and compatible with Cricket’s services.
By entering your phone’s 15-digit IMEI number, you can check its compatibility with Cricket’s services at cricketwireless.com/cell-phones/bring-your-phone. If you have an AT&T device or a phone purchased from another AT&T MVNO, it will almost certainly work with Cricket Wireless.
Among the numerous devices that are compatible with Cricket Wireless and can access their network are:
- Motorola moto g play
- Samsung Galaxy A01
- LG Fortune 3
- Apple iPhone SE
- Samsung Galaxy A11
- Nokia C2 Tava
- Apple iPhone XR
- Cricket Icon 2
- LG Harmony 4
- Cricket Influence
- Motorola moto g power
- Samsung Galaxy A12
- Nokia C5 Endi
WHAT ARE CRICKET WIRELESS NETWORK TOWERS PROS AND CONS?
The Cricket Wireless network, like everything else, has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you commit, make sure to review and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of their network, and then make an educated decision.
- Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T’s second-best network in the United States.
- Because AT&T owns Cricket Wireless, Cricket takes precedence over all other AT&T MVNOs.
- Cricket Wireless intends to offer only high-speed 4G LTE and 5G networks to its customers beginning next year.
- AT&T has the lowest latency (the quickest network response time) of any major US carrier, and Cricket benefits from it as well.
- The 3G network of AT&T (and thus Cricket) is far superior to that of Verizon and T-Mobile.
- AT&T’s network and the MVNOs that use it are said to have the fastest download speeds (around 27.5 Mbps).
- Cricket Wireless has less coverage than Verizon and its MVNOs, but AT&T has more coverage than Verizon.
- Cricket, as an MVNO, may experience slightly slower speeds than its parent carrier, particularly during peak periods.
- According to reports, AT&T and the MVNOs that use its network have the lowest video experience rating of the big four (lading time, supporter resolution, stalling, etc.).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Cricket and Verizon use the same towers?
In this case, you’re getting two of the best ones available. Cricket makes use of AT&T’s network, which is ranked third in the country. Verizon is the undisputed leader. Verizon covers 70 percent of the country for 4G LTE, while T-Mobile covers 59 percent, AT&T covers 58 percent, and Sprint covers 27 percent.
What signal towers does Cricket use?
Cricket operates on AT&T’s network, so it provides the same coverage as a more expensive carrier. AT&T currently has 4G coverage in approximately 68 percent of the country. The only catch is that in congested areas, your data speeds may be prioritized over AT&T users.
Is Cricket service as good as AT&T?
Cricket has the same excellent coverage as AT&T because they both use AT&T’s network. As a result, we are declaring the coverage race a tie. Cricket and AT&T are both excellent choices for wireless service that is supported by a robust network.