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Cricket starts nationwide 3G data roaming

Cricket Wireless smartphone customers can access nationwide 3G data roaming on the carrier's roaming partners.

Cricket Wireless today continued its dive into smartphone territory by announcing nationwide 3G data roaming for its top-end devices. Customers using the service will be able to make calls and use all data features on their handsets even if they leave Cricket's home network area.

The roaming service will be available through Cricket's EV-DO roaming partners, which include Sprint Nextel and MetroPCS. Like with all wireless service, the carrier's expanded 3G data roaming won't be available in all parts of the country, though Cricket says it will cover 80 percent of the U.S. population, or 280 million customers. Cricket's wireless broadband customers will also get 3G data roaming for their USB modems, but not until early next year.

Cricket's smartphone lineup includes the Blackberry Curve 8530 and the Android-powered Sanyo Zio and Huawei Ascend. The carrier's unlimited calling and data plans are $55 for Android users and $60 per month for BlackBerry owners.