Cricket launches new phones, new unlimited plan and handset discounts

hands coffee smartphone
Cricket's promotions highlight cutthroat competition in the prepaid segment.

Cricket Wireless launched a new rate plan, two new phones and discounts on eight existing handsets as competition in the prepaid market continued to heat up this summer.

The promotional plan, which launched today and is available only for a limited time, offers two lines of unlimited high-speed data for $80 a month. The plan is available to new and existing customers and, predictably, comes with some notable strings attached: Data speeds are capped at 3 Mbps and video streaming is limited to 1.5 Mbps, and users who exceed 22 Gbps in a billing cycle may have their speeds slowed.

AT&T’s prepaid brand’s new phones include the Alcatel PulseMix and the LG X Charge. The PulseMix features a 5.2-inch HD screen and sells for $80 with a new smartphone plan, and is offered at $30 for users who port their numbers to Cricket. The LG X Charge features a 5.5-inch HD display and offers up to two full days of battery power, and costs $130 with a new smartphone plan or $100 for switchers who bring their number to Cricket.

Finally, Cricket is offering some significant discounts on several handsets already in its lineup. The ZTE Sonata 3, LG Fortune and Samsung Galaxy Amp 2 are all free to users who port their numbers to Cricket. On the higher end, the ZTE Blade X Max is $100 for switchers, and the LG Stylo 3 is $130.

Cricket’s latest campaigns underscore a cutthroat prepaid market that has become a vicious battleground over the last two years as overall growth in the U.S. smartphone space has stalled. AT&T earlier this month launched a promotion as it rebranded its long-held GoPhone brand as AT&T Prepaid, and in June Sprint finally relaunched its Virgin Mobile brand with a strategy of selling only iPhones. Meanwhile, the unlimited data craze that began to break out among postpaid service providers nearly a year ago has trickled down to the prepaid segment in recent months.