AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) Cricket Wireless prepaid brand said that as of yesterday it is offering unlimited voice and SMS messaging to and from Mexico. Later this month it will also add those features for Canada.
The new "roundtrip" international features will automatically be included in Cricket's Smart ($50 per month) and Pro ($60 per month) monthly plans for no additional charge, and customers will not need to add the feature to their accounts. Cricket's Smart and Pro plans will continue to offer unlimited mobile-to-mobile and landline calls plus text, picture and video messaging from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada.
After spending $4.4 billion to purchase Mexican wireless operators Iusacell and Nextel Mexico earlier this year, AT&T last month promised to spend $3 billion during the next four years to cover 100 million people in Mexico with LTE by the end of 2018. AT&T has said it is creating the "first-ever North American Mobile Service Area covering 400 million people and businesses in Mexico and the U.S."
Yet AT&T's new plan for Cricket customers comes just weeks after T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) said its MetroPCS prepaid customers would get benefits of seamless service in Mexico that T-Mobile has extended to its branded customers in Mexico and Canada.
MetroPCS last month launched "Mexico Unlimited," which expands MetroPCS customers' coverage and calling throughout Mexico. T-Mobile said MetroPCS customers with a $40 or higher base rate plan can add the feature at MetroPCS stores or online.
While in the U.S., customers get unlimited mobile-to-mobile and landline calls to Mexico as well as unlimited texting to Mexico. While in Mexico, MetroPCS customers will get unlimited mobile to mobile and landline calls to U.S. and in Mexico, unlimited texting to the U.S., and most importantly, unlimited data that gets deducted from MetroPCS customers' LTE data plans.
Earlier in July, T-Mobile had launched its "Mobile without Borders" offer, under which T-Mobile will let customers make calls, texts and use data as they do in the U.S. when they travel to Mexico and Canada.
What sets T-Mobile's offers apart from rival cross-border offerings is the ability to use data seamlessly while in another country Cricket's offer does not include data usage in Mexico or Canada.
T-Mobile has not revealed its roaming relationships or agreements in Mexico but said it has "partnerships with leading providers with the best networks" south of the border.
Meanwhile, América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, plans to launch an offering in the next few months that offers customers seamless service, including data access, in Mexico.
- see this Cricket release
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