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Cricket Wireless guns for Verizon, AT&T customers

With popular, premium handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5, Cricket is urging people to switch from pricy contract plans.

Cricket's Half Is More campaign sets its crosshairs on AT&T and Verizon. Launched May 22, 2013
Cricket's Half Is More campaign sets its crosshairs on AT&T and Verizon.

LAS VEGAS -- In an aggressive move for Cricket Wireless, the prepaid carrier has launched an advertising campaign urging Verizon and AT&T customers to switch over from their costly on-contract plans to Cricket's more affordable rates.

Named "Half Is More," the initiative will fan out online, in print media, on TV, and through social-media campaigns. In fact, Cricket has already dedicated a portion of its Web site to this new competitive effort.

It's no coincidence that television ads in support of Cricket's cost savings begin June 3; the company will begin selling Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone just a few days later.

"When we go out and talk to a lot of consumers, we hear a lot of angst from post-paid subscribers," said Cricket Senior Vice President Tyler Wallis. "They're not happy with the service they're getting and they're feeling like they're getting gouged."

With both the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 in its roster, Cricket will carry two of the most coveted smartphones among any wireless operator.

That's quite a feat for a smaller prepaid network, and Cricket is no doubt feeling a surge of confidence to spend so heavily on a multipronged marketing campaign.

"We will continue to challenge the status quo with AT&T and Verizon," said Wallis, who went on to explain that the point of the new campaign was to emphasize the other, more important things customers can purchase using the money they save on Cricket.

"Maybe they can put more in the bank. Maybe they can send their kids to camp. Maybe they can buy the furniture in that house."

While Cricket trumpets its overall cost savings compared with Verizon and AT&T, the carrier still faces steep challenges when it comes to 4G LTE network growth and overall speed performance.

We'll see if AT&T and Verizon answer Cricket's challenge, or leave the gauntlet where it lies. In the meantime, however, Cricket makes clear its intentions.

"We think this is a great value proposition to take to the market that helps to distinguish Cricket," said Wallis. "You get the devices you want from the post-paid world, and you get a rate plan that's half the price."

Catch all the latest news from CTIA 2013.

CNET Associate Editor Lynn La contributed to this story.