Cricket rolls out 5G network, but phone options are very limited

AT&T prepaid subsidiary Cricket Wireless has announced the launch of its nationwide 5G network, giving consumers another option for faster mobile broadband speeds. The new option is available on Cricket's Unlimited plan, but there's a pretty big limitation: only one smartphone is available that can be used with the 5G network, and it's not a cheap one.

Cricket is, as mentioned, a prepaid carrier, meaning customers pay for their plan before they use it. Until now, the carrier offered up to 4G LTE speeds for customers who have compatible phones. The new 5G network gives customers a new option that has lower latency and faster speeds, but only if they buy the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G smartphone.

That model is expensive at $1,199.99 USD, but assuming you get it, the Unlimited Plan with 5G is priced at $60/month. There is, of course, some fine print to note — Cricket says, for example, that it may throttle speeds when the network is busy. As well, 5G speeds are, of course, dependent on being in an area that has related coverage.

In addition to faster speeds, 5G connectivity opens the door for heavier data usage over mobile. Cricket says that it will facilitate users who want to take advantage of this by offering a new Simply Data Rate Plan that offers 100GB of data monthly at $90.

Existing and new Cricket customers who get the Galaxy S20+ 5G smartphone are likewise given access to the 5G network if they are signed up for any of the carrier's Simply Data plans, it said on Friday. Interested consumers can check out Cricket's coverage map on its website here.