|AT&T LTE Bandwidth|
However, data was never a big selling point for me. The real issue for me was monthly cost. Phone companies utilize a price elasticity business model, which means they figure out how to charge the most they can to maximize their profits. If they charge too little, they leave money on the table. If they charge too much, then customers will switch to another company.
|Cricket LTE Bandwidth|
About two years ago, my AT&T bill was a very ridiculous $150/month. I never used up my minutes so I dropped my plan down to a moderately ridiculous $95/month which kept creeping up until it recently hit $111/month due to inflation. That's when a couple friends told me about Cricket Wireless which is now owned by AT&T. Cricket utilizes nearly all of AT&T's cell towers meaning that I'll have the same level of coverage. But they key selling point of Cricket is that it costs way less than AT&T.
SwitchingSo, today, I made the switch from AT&T to Cricket. It took less than an hour for me to go to the local Cricket store and return home with my phone number and service ported.
My monthly bill dropped from $111.42, with AT&T, to $35 with Cricket. But there are some slight differences.
Cricket Cons1. AT&T LTE down stream bandwidth clocked in at 13.4 Mbps. Cricket advertises that their LTE tops out at 8 Mbps. In practice, I'm seeing about 7.8 Mbps download with Cricket which is very respectable.
2. No more unlimited data. I now pay Cricket a total of $35/month for 4 GB of data. I looked at my AT&T bills from the past year and I was topping out at less than 3 GB of data/month.
Cricket Pros1. Unlimited voice minutes. (I was paying AT&T $40/month for 450 minutes, with unused minutes rolling over.) Most of my talking is over WiFi since I use either FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, so voice minutes was never a big selling point for me, but I do like that I now have unlimited talk minutes.
2. Unlimited texting. (I was paying AT&T $20/month for unlimited SMS/MMS text messaging; with Cricket, that's all rolled into the $35/month plan.)
3. Cricket utilizes nearly all of AT&T's cell towers, so I should see no connectivity differences.
Today, I ended up paying about $75 to Cricket, out the door, for the $35/month plan due to one-time activation charges. Let's see where it goes from here.