AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) Cricket Wireless prepaid brand will now let customers on its $50 and $60 per month plans use their plans' data buckets in Mexico and Canada free of charge as if they were in the United States. The new offering adds data to Cricket's current offer of unlimited calling, texting and messaging in between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. It also gives Cricket a slight edge over T-Mobile US' (NYSE:TMUS) MetroPCS prepaid brand, which offers unlimited data usage in Mexico.
Under Cricket's new offering, customers on its $60 per month "Pro" plan get 10 GB of data to use in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, while customers on the $50 per month "Smart" plan have 5 GB of data. Both plans include unlimited voice and texting, including unlimited calling, texting and messaging in between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. However, Cricket notes that customers' primary usage must still be in the U.S.
"Our customers don't want limits – they want to be able to call relatives, send selfies or listen to the latest hits when traveling across North America. They want a seamless experience and Cricket delivers," Cricket CMO Janna Ducich said in a statement. "Our new data roaming feature is another in a long line of benefits that makes Cricket a smart choice for consumers who want great service, flexibility and value."
In August, Cricket added the voice and messaging roaming features in between Mexico and Canada, part of a wider wave of cross-border offerings. However, that offer did not include any cross-border data usage.
In July, MetroPCS customers got the benefits of seamless service in Mexico that T-Mobile had extended to its branded customers in Mexico and Canada. Under MetroPCS' "Mexico Unlimited" offering, customers with a $40 or higher base rate can get the benefits for $5 extra per month. 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.
Cricket's new plan matches that and also lets customers use their data freely in Canada, which T-Mobile branded customers can take advantage of but MetroPCS customers cannot.
Meanwhile, Sprint (NYSE: S) in August unveiled its "Open World" international roaming service that makes unlimited calling and texting to Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries free for its U.S.-based customers. The offering also gives Sprint customers free calls and texts and 1 GB of high-speed data when they are traveling in those countries.
Also in August, América Móvil removed roaming charges on calls to and data in the United States for 40 million Mexican prepaid customers on its "Amigo Optimo" and "Optimo Plus" plans. Calls made to the U.S. will be charged local rates as will data usage.
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