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Some Cricket Wireless users are reporting that the ATT owned MVNO is compressing images when they are viewed over its mobile network.  While I can't confirm this first hand since I don't use the service, there are active discussions going on in regards to this topic both on reddit and HowardForums.

One reddit user and Cricket customer says that they've been experiencing this issue for a couple of weeks, and they've noticed that when trying to save images from various websites, the image url's are being redirected through a proxy service by "ByteMobile."  A little research shows that ByteMobile and Cricket Wireless at least at one point in time were partners and given what's being reported now they still are.

It is unknown if image compression is a new policy or if it has been in effect all along but just had gone unnoticed by Cricket users until now.  The ByteMobile website however does state that it specializes in mobile video optimization and traffic management.  It makes no mention of though of whether or not images are "optimized."  Since ByteMobile "optimizes" video traffic it's probably safe to assume that those of you using Cricket are also experiencing video compression issues over its mobile network.

This sort of web compression technology is not something that is new to the industry.  Sprint and thus Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile all use similar network management tools to save bandwidth and maximize network performance for a majority of their users.  You can have a look at Boost Mobile's website for a clear explanation of Sprints policy in regards to network optimization which sounds nearly identical to how ByteMobile works.

See also:  Cricket Rewards Week Starts Today, Get A $5 Gift Card Just For Enrolling In The Free Program

What's concerning with Cricket Wireless though is that they don't clearly and explicitly state to current and potential customers during signup that they will be subjected to this compression technology.  Cricket is already limiting its 4G LTE download speeds to 8 Mbps for its customers, and I suspect many users will be upset if they notice that they don't have a say in image quality when viewed on their mobile device on top of the speed limitations.  How many BestMVNO readers and Cricket users have noticed that the images they view on certain websites have their images compressed when compared to viewing over wi-fi?  Anybody notice their videos being compressed?

Category  Cricket Wireless

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9 Comments on "Cricket Wireless Reportedly Saving Bandwidth Via Image Compression"

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Guest Sounds like an ATT tactic to get people to sign up for their costlier postpaid plans by limiting what users can do on their prepaid brand Cricket Wireless. Justnt two cents here. I am currently on an ATT MVNO and haven’t noticed any conpression when it comes to images. My speeds seem to be roughly the same no matter time of day. I downloaded the FCC network speedtest app to share my speed results with the FCC at time of my choosing. My speeds have been at 5Mbps/DL and 1Mbps/UL. Not the greatest conpared to other plans but it… Read more »

Yeah, that sounds more like HSPA .

I don’t normally test my speeds. It’s fast enough for me to not have any complaints. I just quickly ran 3 tests using two different servers and averaged 13.1 down and 8.46 up

I am liking your speed test results. Question. If you were to xfer your number say to any other GSM carrier would your old T-Mobile SIM still be usable for a later activation if you wanted to port back to T-Mobile? I know most MVNOs don’t allow it. Each time you activate service you are required to have an unactivated SIM. One is also required to have an unactivated SIM if porting in a number but you already paid for a month’s service to test out their service. Not sure if the big carriers require new SIMs each time? Or… Read more »

Yes, I agree. It will be interesting to see if the courts consider “prioritization” different from throttling.

As far as switching SIMs go, I’m not sure if you could reuse it or not. Did you get your SIM yet?


Yes, SIM arrived a day ago. Did you get your portion?

I have not checked that yet. Often there’s a few days delay in reporting. I was just wondering how it was working for you now?

My current service with AirVoice ends on the 15th at 11:59PM. I will port my number over same day since wireless to wireless ports “normally” take two hours to be completed. I recently got a new number after our recent move to the SW. I do expect coverage to be a tad better with T-Mobile here than what we had south of ATL. I have noticed this though. The wife and I both have carrier unlocked ATT iPhones. I recently ported her number over to Ptel. Her phone is only getting 3G at this point. Not sure if it’s due… Read more »

Fwiw, using the page I see Cricket speeds of 8.31 Mbps down and 12.29 Mbps up. Ever since starting cricket service I’ve seen better up speeds than down in my area. However I am in Oklahoma which is old SBC territory so AT&T (and likely its MVNOs) probably have some advantage. When I get good Tmo signal the speed is great but Tmo coverage in my area is good to decent in the city and fair to poor outside of the city. Sadly there is no word on 700 megahertz deployment with Tmo in Oklahoma.


I am currently running side by side comparison of Cricket vs T-Mo. I’m in the SF
Bay Area of California. T-Mo has consistently beat CW. As stated, Cricket
does, in deed, top out at 8Mbps, whereas T-Mo in the identical place and time,
will make 17.5Mbps and 12.75Mbps, as measured using OOKLA Speedtest. I’m still
testing in different areas, but as of now, it looks like I’ll be ditching CW in
favor of T-Magenta…