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Post-Merger, AT&T Takes Cricket Brand Nationwide With New Devices, Rate Plans and Network Technology

AT&T's Aio Wireless will be folded into the Cricket brand.


Two months after finalizing its purchase of low-cost brand Cricket, AT&T is relaunching the service as a combination of that brand and AT&T’s own prepaid service, Aio Wireless.

Both Aio and Cricket outlets will be rebranded with the new Cricket design, devices and rate plans.

“We will bring customers more value in no-contract,” Cricket President Jennifer Van Buskirk said in an interview.

Cricket is offering three smartphone rate plans. For $35 per month (including taxes and fees), customers get unlimited talk and text, including 500MB of high-speed data. A $45 plan includes 2.5 GB of high-speed data, while a $55-per-month plan includes 5GB of data. To get those prices, customers also have to sign up for automatic payment. The plans all include unlimited data, with speeds throttled to a slower level once the high-speed allotment has been used.

On the hardware side, Cricket is offering customers $50 off a new smartphone, including some models that start at just $50.

For those who want a basic phone, Cricket has a $25-per-month unlimited talk and text plan.

A big change under the hood is that Cricket is moving swiftly to use devices that run on AT&T’s network rather than the one Cricket had used. It’s a very similar approach to the one T-Mobile used following its MetroPCS acquisition last year.

While T-Mobile’s MetroPCS, Sprint’s Boost Mobileand Walmart’s Straight Talk are perhaps Cricket’s most direct competitors, Van Buskirk said the company is really competing against an array of rivals. “I’d put Sprint and T-Mobile in our sights too,” she said.

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