Cricket announced the TXTM8 3G today, which is really a rebranded TXTM8 II. As the name suggests, the TXTM8 3G now has 3G support in the form of tri-band EVDO. It's a simple slate-style QWERTY messaging phone, with a 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, a 3.5-mm headset jack, a music player, and support for up to 16GB microSD cards. The TXTM8 3G is available for $79.99 after a $20 discount, and no contract is required. The TXTM8 3G is available starting November 12.
Cricket Wireless continued its dive into Android today with the announcement of the Huawei Ascend. The Ascend is the prepaid carrier's second Android smartphone after the Sanyo Zio, which went on sale last month.
Positioned as a low-cost device, the Ascend won't wow in the features department, but it comes with all the usual Android offerings, such as Wi-Fi, a 3.2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player, Bluetooth, a MicroSD card slot, and support for the carrier's 3G EV-DO network. We're glad to see that it runs Android 2.1 (Eclair) rather than the 1.6 version … Read more
Cricket Wireless, the little carrier with big plans to go national, added yet another handset to its lineup Tuesday. The Samsung Messager Touch comes hot on the heels of the Android-powered Sanyo Zio, which had its formal introduction last week.
The Messager Touch isn't a smartphone, but it offers a slider design with a full keyboard, messaging and multimedia features, and decent call quality. We've reviewed the U.S. Cellular Messager Touch only, but Cricket's version of the handset shouldn't differ too sharply. Cricket will sell the phone for $159 for its no-contract service.
Earlier this … Read more
Al Moschner probably wouldn't blame you if you've never heard of Cricket Wireless. But if he has his way, you'll know about his company soon enough.
As the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the nation's seventh-largest wireless carrier, Moschner directs marketing and branding efforts for Cricket's products and services. A subsidiary of Leap Wireless International founded in 1999, Cricket serves 5.3 million prepaid customers in select communities in 25 states, or about a third of the country. Though that focus has served Cricket well over the past year--total revenues for parent company Leap Wireless increased 10.2 percent from the second quarter of 2009 to the same period this year--the carrier isn't standing still. Even as it stays true to its prepaid roots, it is embarking on plans to attract new customers, expand into smartphone content services, and develop the network necessary to become a national carrier.
Last Tuesday, just before Cricket released its first smartphone, the Sanyo Zio, Moschner dropped by CNET's San Francisco offices to talk about how his company and the wireless industry is changing. We covered a range of topics, including the growth in prepaid, an impending music service, cheaper data plans, and, of course, a CDMA iPhone.
Q: You operate your own network, yet you also act as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) for Sprint. Why be an MVNO, too? Why not just funnel people onto your own network? A: It's about national reach. An important part of our strategy is to become national. We're not going to stop building out our own infrastructure, but given that real growth in the industry is with prepaid users, we need to be a national carrier today. And more importantly, if you believe that a significant shift of sales is moving to a national carrier footprint, the only way for us to be relevant is to be national.
Q: What's driving the growth in prepaid? Is it just the economy? A: The economy is a very significant piece of it. It's forcing people to question if they can afford a $100-per-month wireless bill. The second is that folks are looking for value. We provide value in our space. We can offer voice and data much cheaper than other carriers. The third point is that consumers are no longer viewing prepaid as something that only someone else buys. There used to be that overhang in [prepaid] for good reason. If you go look at what prepaid was 15 years ago, it was more expensive than postpaid, it offered crummy devices, and it was difficult to get. Now, all of that has changed and prepaid has gone mainstream. We're offering just about everything that the major carriers offer, but at prices that are very compelling.
Three weeks after teasing us with a promo of its first Android handset, we finally get pricing and a release date for the Sanyo Zio. The Zio, which will ship by August 21, is $229 if you place a preorder on Cricket's Web site. The full price without the Web discount is an additional $20, but keep in mind that Cricket won't make you sign a contract.
Cricket continues adding to its new handset lineup Tuesday with the Cricket MSGM8 II, which, as you might expect, is a sequel to the messaging-centric Cricket MSGM8 that debuted late last year. The MSGM8 II improves on the original with a redesigned keyboard and features like a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, voice command, a mobile Web browser, and a jog dial on the side.
The MSGM8 II is available now for $79.99 retail.
While the recent BlackBerry Torch gets all the press, Cricket quietly pipes up and says that it, too, now has a BlackBerry in its lineup--its first ever, in fact.
Indeed, the regional carrier has never even had a smartphone in its family before the BlackBerry Curve 8530. Features include GPS, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, EV-DO, a 2-megapixel camera, and of course access to BlackBerry's App World market. As we mentioned earlier this week, the BlackBerry Curve 8530 is available for $299.99, and you can get it with Cricket's affordable BlackBerry unlimited plan, which is $60 a month.
Regional carrier Cricket Wireless announced a slew of news today that include new all-inclusive rate plans and that it is adding 15--yes, 15--new devices to its lineup.
The new rate plans are some of the most competitive in the country, with unlimited plans available from $35 to $60 a month. The basic $35 plan lacks data and a couple of voice features; the $45 plan includes unlimited voice, text, data, and online backup; and the $55 and $60 unlimited plans are for Android and BlackBerry devices, respectively. According to Cricket, all regulatory taxes and fees are included in that price. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In addition to the Kyocera Zio, Cricket Wireless is set to bring a new BlackBerry to its lineup. The carrier confirmed at CTIA 2010 that it will offer the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530, but pricing or a specific availability date was not released at this time.
The AWS (Advanced Wireless Service)-compatible device is largely similar to the CDMA versions of the Curve 8530 available from Verizon Wireless and Sprint. For more information about the device, check out our review of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530.
Cricket Wireless has just introduced a brand new basic phone in its lineup, the Samsung Stunt. The phone is identical to the Samsung Stunt that launched with MetroPCS not too long ago. Though it's pretty basic, it does offer a few niceties like Bluetooth and voice command. The price is rather nice as well--it's $99.99 without a contract.