Wednesday, April 9, 2008

CricKet Releases AWS in OKC, Internet on EvDO

Sorry for yesterday, should've posted this information up then. Ah well...

First off, CricKet is live in Oklahoma City! No, the plan aren't any different from what you'd typically find on CricKet outside of Pocket territory. However the phones are definitely something new. As I predicted, you've got the same three AWS phones available on CricKet as you do on MetroPCS. However on CricKet they're marked up $20 retail, then down $50 online (looks like) for a net price of $30 less than MetroPCS charges for the phone. Well, except for the Samsung MyShot, which retails for the same as it does on MetroPCS, except an online discount makes the phone $130 instead of $150. Decent deal by me.

In other news, for those of you who want high-speed internet wirelessly on the cheap, CricKet has something for you. Coming soon to all markets, and already in some markets (OKC coming soon) you can buy a modem for a mere $59 (! considering there's no contract) and start your service. The first month is free, though there is a $25 activation fee (do all CricKet phones have that?). After that, the cost is a mere $40 per month, with a $5 per month discount for existing customers. Considering that I'm pretty sure that CricKet's EvDO network is revision A (though I'm not 100% sure) it's a decent price to pay if you don't want to sign a contract for wireless data (CricKet is the first to do this to my knowledge) for decent speeds. If, that is, CricKet's network is up to snuff, which can be doubted. One caveat though: you get the Verizon-esque 5GB "soft limit" after which they may shut you off, have you attacked by samurai or something equally annoying...and yes, they seem to have ripped off Verizon's terms of service (no webcams, P2P...that will degrade network functionality). Par for the course, unfortunately...if you want to get really unlimited data, you have to sign a contract with Sprint.

One other thing about the 'net plan: looks like they're only offering a PC card right now for 'net access. No newer laptops need apply unless you want to get a USB adapter (which is another $40 or so)...though their pomotional image includes a USB modem (good!).

Overall, it's cool to see CricKet and MetroPCS rolling out AWS in a few markets it serves, though I don't get their unwillingness to offer the phones out of the AWS areas. Maybe they're losing money on 'em or something...a bad thing to do with an unlimited carrier. Ah well...

One more thing though: on the regular (1900 MHz CDMA) front, CricKet is offering some ridiculous mail-in rebates on several of its phones in plenty of markets. All phones more expensive than the Samsung Siren get a $100 mail-in rebate. All handsets less expensive get a $50 rebate, down to the Motorola w315. The rebate requires you to have had the service on CricKet for 45 days, but I gotta say "this is maaaaddnesssss!" So if you want CricKet, buy your phone now, and buy big. The Samsung r500 is a mere $80, the Rokr just $180, the Razr v3a only $80 and the Razr2 just $280.

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