AT&T owned Cricket Wireless has quietly increased the amount of 4G LTE hotspot data that is available for purchase as an add-on to its unlimited data plans. Subscribers can now add 10GB of high speed data to their plan whereas previously only 8GB was offered. The charge for the add-on remains the same at $10/month.
Cricket Wireless Hotspot Compatible Plans And Phones
Cricket Wireless offers two hotspot compatible plans and they are priced as follows:
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- Unlimited 3Mbps - includes unlimited talk, text and data with data speeds limited to just 3Mbps. Video streaming limited to just 1.5Mbps. Plan costs $55/month or $50 with an autopay discount applied.
- Unlimited Max - includes unlimited talk, text and data with download data speeds limited to 8Mbps. Plan costs $60/month or $55 with an autopay discount applied.
Both plans also include unlimited texting to 38 countries and free talk, text and data roaming while traveling in either Mexico or Canada. If more than 22GB of data gets consumed during a billing cycle, speeds may be temporarily slowed further during times of heavy network congestion.
The hotspot data-add on includes unlimited 2G data once the 10GB high speed allotment gets used up.
Mobile hotspot is only available on select phones which include the following:
- Alcatel Idol 5
- Alcatel VERSO
- Apple iPhone 5S
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPhone 6s
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus
- Apple iPhone 7
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus
- Apple iPhone 8
- Apple iPhone 8 Plus
- Apple iPhone X
- Apple iPhone SE
- Huawei Elate™
- LG Fortune 2
- LG X charge
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- ZTE Blade X
- ZTE Fanfare 3
- ZTE Prelude+
- ZTE Overture 3
It's great that Cricket is now offering the availability of more hotspot data. However, the real problem here is that you still have to pay $10/month for it instead of having it included with your plan. Is that really competitive?
T-Mobile's MetroPCS brand offers a $50 unlimited plan without hotspot, and a $60 plan with hotspot. Like Cricket Wireless, only 10GB of high speed hotspot data is available so its seems Cricket Wireless made the change to match MetroPCS's offering. However, unlike Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS's plans do not have speed restrictions. MetroPCS is a better buy here, unless you are in an area where network coverage is poor.
Sprint owned Boost Mobile also offers 2 unlimited data plans one for $50/month and the other for $60/month. The $50 plan includes 8GB of hotspot data while the $60 plan includes 20GB. If coverage isn't a concern for you, Cricket Wireless loses out again.
In my opinion, it seems like AT&T and Cricket Wireless still have work to do, but at least this is a step in the right direction.