Quick Summary of Cricket Coverage Map (Ultimate Guide For 2020)
- The Difference Between MVNO and MNO
- Cricket Uses AT&T’s Cell Towers
- Comparing Cricket Coverage Map To Other Providers
- How Specifically Is Verizon’s Coverage Better Than AT&T?
- All MVNOs That Share AT&T’s Network
- How To Get Better Cell Signal With Cricket Wireless
- Cricket Coverage in Canada and Mexico
Have questions about Cricket’s coverage in 2020? How good is it? Where does it stand compared to other providers? These questions and others are answered here. Welcome to the Cricket Coverage Map Ultimate Guide!
1. The Difference Between MVNO and MNO
When talking about Cricket coverage, the first thing to remember is that Cricket Wireless is an MVNO. That stands for mobile virtual network operator. This means that Cricket leases its wireless capacity from an MNO (mobile network operator). MVNO = smaller providers like Cricket, Boost Mobile, Metro, and others. MNO = AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint (also known as The Big 4).
This is worth knowing because it has a direct effect on the Cricket Wireless coverage map. The smaller-scale MVNOs use the cell towers of larger-scale MNOs. There are pros to having an MVNO as your provider and there are also cons. We won’t get into it any further than that, but learn more about the MNO/MVNO relationship here.
2. Cricket Uses AT&T’s Cell Towers
The good thing about this is that AT&T has really great coverage. Of all cell providers in the US, AT&T’s coverage ranks second (#1 is Verizon). Almost 60% of the entire United States is within its coverage map. And it’s a 4G LTE network.
This means that Cricket is one of the best choices when it comes to less-expensive providers. They are one of the biggest and most popular MVNOs out there today. If you choose Cricket instead of AT&T to save money, for example, you’re getting the same quality service that you would if you were with AT&T. Truthfully, as far as coverage is concerned, you are with AT&T.
In fact, AT&T owns Cricket Wireless.
3. Comparing Cricket Coverage Map To Other Providers
Check out the coverage map below. If you want to check the area where you live, just zoom in on the area. You’ll see that Cricket’s (AT&T’s) 3G and 4G coverage is as we’ve said – the best in America behind Verizon.
There are some areas where Cricket’s coverage is even better than Verizon. It’s also worth noticing that AT&T has better 3G coverage than any other company. The modern cell phone industry hasn’t abandoned 3G technology yet, so this is certainly a perk of being with Cricket. Being with a provider that has great 3G coverage comes in very handy. Especially when you find yourself in a place where there’s no 4G. Your phone will utilize 3G in those instances.
Even though 4G is likely your phone’s default, having such a strong 3G connection as a backup is helpful. When 5G becomes commonplace, there will be 3 different network classes (3G, 4G, 5G) that your phone can connect to.
Here’s a chart of most of the national MVNOs out there and how Cricket’s coverage measures up. It tells you if Cricket is worse, about the same, or better than each of these providers where coverage is concerned.
Boost Mobile – better
Consumer Cellular – about the same
FreedomPop – about the same
FreeUp Mobile – about the same
Good2Go Mobile – about the same
Google Fi – better
H20 Wireless – about the same
Metro – better
Mint Mobile – better
Net10 – worse
The People’s Operator – better
Pix Wireless – about the same
Red Pocket – about the same
Republic Wireless – better
ROK Mobile – worse
Simple Mobile – better
Straight Talk – worse
Tello – better
TextNow – better
Ting – better
TracFone – worse
Twigby – worse
Ultra Mobile – better
Unreal Mobile – better
US Mobile – worse
Virgin Mobile – worse
Coverage Of Other Carriers
Here are links to the coverage maps of some of these providers:
AT&T Coverage Map
Boost Mobile Coverage Map
Consumer Cellular Coverage Map
FreedomPop Coverage Map
FreeUp Mobile Coverage Map
Good2Go Mobile Coverage Map
H20 Wireless Coverage Map
Metro Coverage Map
Mint Mobile Coverage Map
Net10 Coverage Map
The People’s Operator Coverage Map
Project Fi Coverage Map
Pix Wireless Coverage Map
Red Pocket Coverage Map
Republic Wireless Coverage Map
ROK Mobile Coverage Map
Simple Mobile Coverage Map
Sprint Coverage Map
Straight Talk Coverage Map
T-Mobile Coverage Map
Tello Coverage Map
TextNow Coverage Map
Ting Coverage Map
TracFone Coverage Map
Twigby Coverage Map
Ultra Mobile Coverage Map
Unreal Mobile Coverage Map
US Mobile Coverage Map
Verizon Coverage Map
Virgin Mobile Coverage Map
4. How Specifically Is Verizon’s Coverage Better Than AT&T?
Verizon’s been #1 where coverage is concerned for a number of years now. But the truth is that AT&T is right behind them.
Cricket (AT&T) has great coverage in most of the east coast and southeastern states. And honestly, most of the midwest states except for New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming. Other AT&T coverage issues lie in the midwestern states towards the east. Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Great Lakes states. That general area. A lot of dead zones for AT&T exist in these areas.
To be specific, AT&T has 4G coverage in just about 60% of the mainland states. If you’re thinking about switching to Cricket and want to know precisely how good or bad coverage is where you live, visit AT&Ts coverage page here.
5. All MVNOs That Share AT&T’s Network
Cricket isn’t the only MVNO that uses AT&T’s network. As of this writing in 2020, there is 10 total. They are:
- Consumer Cellular
- FreeUP Mobile
- H2O Wireless
- Pix Wireless
- Red Pocket
- Straight Talk
Some of these companies lease access to other networks in addition to Sprint. Doubling and in some cases tripling their coverage capacity.
6. How To Get Better Cell Signal With Cricket Coverage Map
Get a cell signal booster from SureCall. This goes without saying. It’s incredibly effective. But there are some other things you can do, as well.
Such as getting a new phone. Not just a different phone. A NEW phone. One that represents the newest model or at least one no more than 2-3 years old. This helps with reception a lot. For instance, T-Mobile introduced Band 12 a few years ago which was a significant spectrum upgrade from the signal quality that came before. But it didn’t work with older phone models. Anything older than an iPhone 6 was incompatible.
These spectrum upgrades happen frequently. Getting the very best reception, unfortunately (for your wallet, at least), depends somewhat on how new your phone is.
7. Answers To Commonly Googled Questions About Cricket
Is Cricket Better Than Straight Talk?
Yes. Even though speeds are capped, Cricket’s plans give you more customizable options. Cricket also offers a lot more data compared to Straight Talk. The plans with Straight Talk aren’t bad and, unlike Cricket, they don’t cap data speeds. But overall, they don’t quite measure up. Especially if you need a plan with multiple lines, Cricket is the way to go due to more attractive discounts.
Does Cricket Give Free Phones?
Yes. If you’re switching to Cricket Wireless from another provider, you get a free phone.
How Much Does Cricket Cost Per Month?
$55 per month will get you what’s called the Standard Unlimited Plan. This is only applicable for one-line accounts. You get unlimited data, text, and talk. If you sign up for autopay, it’s $50 per month instead of $55. It’s also worth noting that with this plan, 3Mbps is the maximum download speed.
Is Cricket Really Unlimited Data?
Yes. But there are some things about their unlimited data plans that you should know. 3Mpbs is the max data speed. Video streaming is not HD. It’s SD (480p). Also, your download speeds will likely decrease once you pass 22 GB of data usage. Especially if you’re in an area with lots of network congestion.
Who’s Better Boost Or Cricket?
Cricket. Though there are pros and cons to both, Cricket wins, even though they cap your LTE speeds at 8Mbps. They have better coverage and better streaming quality. With Boost Mobile, you have to pay $20 more per month for uncompressed media streaming. Not with Cricket.
Which Phones Will Work With Cricket?
A Cricket phone. Though any AT&T phone will work, customer reviews point to an actual Cricket phone being the best choice. T-Mobile phones work but they have to be unlocked. Verizon phones also work and you don’t have to unlock them.
Can I Keep My Number If I Switch To Cricket?
Yes. And you can do it online by yourself.
Does Cricket Charge An Activation Fee?
Yes. If you go into a Cricket retailer and sign up there, you’ll pay a $25 activation fee. You can avoid the fee by activating online after buying a SIM card on Amazon, at Target, or on Cricket’s website.
Can You Unlock A Cricket Phone?
Yes. You have to talk to a Cricket customer service representative (in person or online) to do this. There’s an approval process, but once you’re approved, they’ll give you an unlock code. This code can be used to activate your Cricket phone with another network.
Is Cricket Better Than Metro?
Yes. Overall, Cricket is better. However, Metro does have a leg up in one area. Data caps. While Cricket caps their data, Metro does not. They have a 35 GB data limit, at which point speeds are lowered. Cricket, on the other hand, begins slowing their data speeds once you reach 22 GB. But Metro’s coverage and reliability just aren’t as good.
Is Cricket Better Than Verizon?
No. Cricket uses AT&T’s network, which is not as good as Verizon. It’s close, but the numbers show that Verizon has the best coverage of any provider in the US.
Is Cricket Owned By Verizon?
No. It’s owned by AT&T.
Can I Switch From AT&T To Cricket?
Yes. Not only can you switch, but in most cases, you can continue using your existing phone. And you can keep your phone number. If you are wanting to use the same phone after switching, it’ll need to be unlocked first.
How Much Is It For 2 Lines On Cricket?
$55 per month total for one line. $80 per month total for two lines. $90 per month total for three lines.
Cricket Coverage Map (Ultimate Guide For 2020) – Conclusion
Overall, Cricket Wireless is a really good choice if coverage is important to you. Monthly phone plans are cheaper than most anything you can get with The Big 4. And because Cricket uses AT&T’s network, coverage is just as good as if you were with AT&T.
Sure, coverage struggles in rural areas. But that’s common for every network. Remember that AT&T is the #2 overall cellular provider in the United States. So when you’re with Cricket, who uses AT&T’s network, you’re in good hands. Also, Cricket’s customer service is very highly rated.
Be sure to check the Cricket coverage map before signing up. No matter what network you’re thinking of joining, you should check their coverage map first. There are so many choices for cell service, there’s no reason to accidentally pick one that doesn’t have ideal coverage for you.