AT&T announced on Thursday that it will begin, as planned, shutting down Cricket’s CDMA network in March, taking many Cricket plans and phones with it.
The shutdown comes after AT&T purchased Cricket in March 2014. AT&T is shutting down the CDMA network to roll customers over to its GSM network. Furthermore, AT&T has slowly been farming Cricket’s unused spectrum for use with its own GSM network. AT&T will use Cricket’s spectrum, after a spruce up for its standards, to offer better coverage to customers.
Cricket will become AT&T’s prepaid brand using the same GSM network.
The shutdown of Cricket’s network will involve terminating customers’ wireless service on a rolling basis by bill cycle beginning a month prior to the network sunset date. Below, you can find a list of how Cricket plans to terminate markets, as noted by Fierce Wireless.
So what about that iPhone you recently purchased on Cricket’s network? AT&T and Cricket have previously detailed Cricket iPhone owners (except for iPhone 4 owners) will be able to get an AT&T SIM card and use their existing phones.
“iPhone Customers with an original Cricket CDMA iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c will receive a free, replacement SIM card that enables your iPhone to operate on new Cricket’s new 4G and 4G LTE nationwide GSM network,” Cricket’s migration website explains.
All other Cricket phone owners will have to purchase a new smartphone. At least the network is giving you a little warning.
March/April 2015 – Initial sunset markets include, by state:
- Washington, DC
- AR: Little Rock, Fayetteville and Fort Smith
- DE: Wilmington
- IL: Chicago and Northern Illinois
- IN: South Bend
- MD: Baltimore
- NJ: Atlantic City
- NY: Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse
- PA: Philadelphia
May/June 2015 – A second group of markets is slated for sunset in the summer of 2015:
- KS: Wichita
- NM: Albuquerque and Las Cruces
- NV: Las Vegas
- OK: Oklahoma City and Tulsa
August/September 2015 – All other legacy CDMA markets not identified above will be turned down by mid-September 2015.
Source: Fierce Wireless via PhoneDog