This morning, Cricket announced their new unlimited data plan that will cost users $70/month beginning this Sunday. In their press release, they compared it to T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans which cost you $95 per month for unlimited data. However they left out the true part of T-Mobile that Cricket is competing with, and that’s MetroPCS. As T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere noted on Twitter this afternoon, MetroPCS offers unlimited data, along with unlimited talk and text for $10 less than this new plan from Cricket.
Legere also mentions the “fine print” in Cricket’s new plan which includes the fact that tethering or mobile hotspot is not included. Of course, Legere would use that to also plug that MetroPCS offers 8GB of tethering with their unlimited plan, and it’s still $60/month. Leading Legere to state “this offer is nothing to smile about”. It’s not a fantastic plan from Cricket, but it is a new plan for Cricket, considering they only offered data caps before. But there’s more in the fine print than just the omission of mobile hotspot. Remember Cricket throttles your speeds to 8Mbps on 4G LTE and 4Mbps on HSPA+ connections. This is consistently too, not just when you’ve hit a certain amount of data each month. So the plan really doesn’t look like it’s all that good of a plan.
MetroPCS also has much faster speeds than Cricket – largely due to their throttling. According to third-party tests, MetroPCS speeds are about 3x faster than what Cricket achieves in many cities around the US. This is all interesting, because the real winner here is the consumer. With prices starting to come down across all of the networks in the US, not to mention unlimited data starting to make a comeback – with AT&T and now Cricket offering it – it’s clear that competition is really heating up. Especially with being just two weeks into the second quarter for the year. MetroPCS is the leader in prepaid right now, so it makes sense that everyone is going after them these days. We’ll likely see some more from Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, as they want that number one spot back.