Yet another US carrier launches a ‘nationwide’ 5G network

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Prepaid wireless carriers in the US rarely get the same attention as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, but according to a recent study, some of these smaller players in the cellular industry can actually keep their customers pretty much as satisfied as the top dogs do.

Ironically, Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T, which allowed the prepaid operator to make two exciting announcements right before the weekend started. First and foremost, Cricket customers can now enjoy 5G network access “nationwide”, although it almost goes without saying that the usual warnings and caveats apply.
The speed upgrade is also not very significant for the time being, as the bulk of those markets can only get a low-band 5G signal. This travels much farther than mid-band or mmWave technology, penetrating all types of obstacles, but its download numbers are often comparable to those achieved on 4G LTE connectivity.
If you’re not too bothered by these inconveniences and still want to be an early 5G Cricket adopter, you’ll have to splash the cash on a $1,200 Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and activate that bad boy on a monthly Simply Data plan costing $35 and up. Speaking of, the Simply Data lineup is being expanded with a pricey new $90 a month option including 100 gigs of high-speed data, compared to the $35 and $50 plans that come with only 20 and 40GB high-speed data respectively.

The other big announcement is that all Cricket Wireless subscribers can get a free 30-day trial to HBO Max, the new video streaming platform from none other than AT&T. To claim your complimentary Netflix alternative, you need to visit this link and sign up. Keep in mind that you will be charged $14.99 a month at the end of the promotional period, so don’t forget to cancel your subscription in due time if you don’t want that to happen.

In other and slightly less important news, Cricket is adding Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay in all company-branded retail locations and service apps, becoming the nation’s first no-annual contract wireless provider to support all three widely used “alternative” payment methods.

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