updated 07:55 pm EDT, Tue August 3, 2010
Cricket tiers data plans, prices Zio, Curve 8530
Cricket on Tuesday revamped pricing for its data plans, introducing three tiered plans rather than one all-encompassing option. All plans are now capped but are tiered with more bandwidth than other carriers. An entry 2.5GB plan costs $40 per month; 5GB is available for $50 per month, and 7.5GB is on offer for $60 per month. Rather than charge overage fees, Cricket will throttle down the download speed for those that surpass their caps.
Before this, Cricket's deals were still better and offered a single 5GB plan at $40 per month, but they compare more favorably to AT&T's decision to impose a 2GB maximum cap and charge $10 for every 1GB of extra data. Sprint and Verizon currently claim unlimited data on phones, although both have 5GB caps on data-only hardware.
The monthly fee for voice and text plans has increased by $5 across the board. They now start at $35 and top out at $55. A new $60 BlackBerry plan has been introduced, while the Zio gets a $55 combined voice and data plan, or what Cricket is calling the "industry's best Android value."
Each plan now includes taxes and telecom fees, however, and the $15 activation fee has been axed.
The company also formally launched the BlackBerry Curve 8530 and the Kyocera Zio smartphones, at $300 and $250, respectively. Either handset costs $50 less than originally announced. The Curve 8530 is the familiar entry-level QWERTY phone available on other networks, while the Zio is Kyocera's first Android device and centers on both its full touchscreen and low price.