Using the New Moto G LTE on Cricket Wireless

The New Moto G LTEI have a confession to make.  After our move, I was forced to move away from Walmart Family Mobile.  While I liked the service and the price, I didn’t get good service at the new house.  I also moved to a new desk at work and my service was practically non-existent.  While the price was great, it can’t be justified when I can’t use it.  In light of this change, I decided to try out Cricket Wireless.  If you didn’t know, Cricket Wireless was just bought out by AT&T.  AT&T created Aio Wireless last year and then just stopped it and are going through a rebrand.  Cricket Wireless will now use the GSM network used by Aio Wireless. This is great for me as I have an unlocked GSM phone.  My original phone was the Google Nexus 4, but that just crapped out on me after the newest KitKat update.  Since I need my phone, I started looking at the new Moto G with LTE.  Here is my experience.

Signing Up with Cricket Wireless

Cricket WirelessI wasn’t originally going to sign up with Cricket Wireless. I was looking to sign up with Aio.  Once I did some research and found AT&T buying the parent company of Cricket, I was off to see what I could do.  Since I had my own phone that was unlocked, I wasn’t interested in getting a Cricket Wireless phone.

Cricket does offer a bring your own phone program (BYOP), so I was happy.  You can do it online or you can go into one of their stores.  Luckily for me, there were quite a few stores around.  I jumped in my car and headed down the the nearest Cricket Wireless store.  I got there right when they opened, so I was the first customer for the day.

Picking a Cricket Wireless Plan

Cricket offers three smartphone plans.  They start at $40 per month and go to $60 per month.  Remember, Cricket is a pre-paid service.  If you don’t pay for your next month’s service, you lose it.  Some get this confused with out Verizon and AT&T bill their customers.  They are considered post-paid or you pay after your latest month ends.

Cricket Wireless Plans

Since I use some data on my phone, I decided to go with their $50/month plan (“Smart” as they call it).  This plan includes the following features.

[checklist]
  • Unlimited Talk
  • Unlimited Nationwide Text/Messaging (not unlimited if don’t internationally)
  • 4G LTE Data speeds
  • 2.5GB Data allotment
  • Nationwide AT&T coverage
[/checklist]

Now, some of you will say 2.5GB is not good enough, but it is for me. I don’t have any problems with that amount since I am on WiFi most of the time.  I do use more than 500mb, but never more than 1GB.

Transferring My Number to Cricket

This was the part I was most afraid of. I have heard of problems with transferring numbers out of Walmart Family Mobile.  Well, I can say I didn’t have one problem at all. It was done within 5 minutes.  Make sure you have your Family Mobile account number and your PIN.  If you don’t have a PIN, call customer service to set one up.

I was in and out of Cricket in less than 30 minutes.  I can’t complain with that.  They were also very nice to speak with during the process.  Now, I have AT&T’s network!

 Buying the New Moto G LTE

The other day, my Nexus 4 decided to start going through an exorcism.  It was kind of scary to watch.  After the latest Android update, it just never worked the same.  I have never seen it like that.  After going back to a factory restore and setting it back up, it still didn’t work right.  I called Google and they told me the hardware was going bad.  It seemed that way as the buttons were not functioning and the screen was turning off and on.  I was just waiting for it to start throwing up.  Since I bought my phone on eBay, I couldn’t get a new one from Google.  Damn!  That is the price you pay for an unlocked, no-contract phone.

I had heard about the new  Moto G from Republic Wireless. They are touting it on their site, so I wanted to check it out.  I looked over reviews and like what I saw. The big problem was the phone didn’t have 4G capability. It was only up to 3G.  While this was just like my Nexus 4, I wanted to get some 4G dammit!  Then I noticed a press release about how Moto G was coming out with the updated Moto G with 4G LTE spectrum. Hells yes!

While the cost of the unlocked phone was about $40 more, I thought it was worth it for me.  You can get an unlocked Moto G for only $179.  That is right people, you can have a new damn phone for only $179 that works like a champ.  I am glad Motorola came out at this price.  This is great for people like me.  The new Moto G LTE was priced around $219.  I read all of the review on Amazon and was happy with what I saw.

I got the new Moto G LTE (white version) and next day shipping for only $7 extra. Hell yeah Amazon Prime!  Once the phone was delivered, I simply pulled out my SIM card from my old phone and popped it in the new phone.  After about 5 minutes of adding my Google Account and putting my apps back on, I was ready to go.  The best part is now I had 4G LTE coverage.  Oh how sweet it is.

My thoughts on the Moto G LTE

I am a techie at heart. I love electronics.  When I can test a new phone out, I get a little excited.  I will say the Moto G is a great phone.  I can’t believe the performance of this phone, especially for the price.  It is running a simple version of Android, almost stock.  This is what I am used to since I had the Google Nexus 4.  I like the pure Android experience.

The speed and responsiveness is great.  It worked fast and does the job.  This is not an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S5.  Don’t think it is going to compare.  This phone is a budget phone for those who don’t want to pay $600 for a damn phone.  This is probably one of the best options out there and I would highly recommend it.  My wife liked it so much, she now wants to get one. I told her she needs to wait until her unlocked phone dies.

Now, some of you might balk at the storage of the phone. The Moto G with LTE does only come in a 8GB version. This is the internal storage amount. That is quite low, but they do have a SD card slot which expands up to 32GB. For me, I stream all of my music. I used both Pandora and the new Amazon Prime music.  My pictures are automatically uploaded to the cloud and off my phone.  I don’t keep much stuff on there. Since I have the internet, why not use the cloud?  If you are a storage hog, then you need to understand this and get a SD card. It doesn’t come with the phone.

All in all, I am really happy with my new Moto G LTE and with Cricket Wireless.  Since I wanted to save on our monthly bills, I moved my wife over this past weekend and she is happy. I save $10 a month per line up to five lines.  I can’t complain with that.  When the bill comes in, I am paying $6 more a month for Cricket, but now I have service at my house and my work.  Not only service, but 4G LTE service.  Win!

Would you consider buying the Moto G LTE phone if you needed a new one?  If you need more information about the phone, check out my Moto G LTE review on Empowered Shopper!

About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

34 comments
Brad @ How to Save Money says June 30

I had an expensive phone. It was stolen. So the phone I bought next cost me $5. I can make calls. I can receive calls. And it works as an alarm clock. No one is going to steal this phone! Thank you for all the great phone and plan information.

Reply
    Laurie says June 30

    Nice work there Brad! I don’t think people would try to steal a $5 phone, but who knows.

    Reply
bajamisdeudas says July 1

Seems like a great deal to me because recently I lost my phone.

Reply
    Laurie says July 1

    It is a good deal. Best of luck getting a new phone!

    Reply
Jeff says July 26

I just bought the new Moto G 4g LTE with the intent to sign up with Cricket like you. However, when I go to sign up it says this phone will only get 3g service. Then, I put in my 3 year old Samsung S from T Mobile and it says it will get 4g service. What is up?

Reply
    Laurie says July 26

    Hello Jeff,

    I have the 4G LTE Moto G and it does in fact get 4G service. If you looked online and put your information in, then I would assume Cricket has not updated their database to recognize the 4G version of the Moto G. When it first came out, there was no 4G option, only 3G. If it can handle 4G, then you can get 4G.

    Reply
J Ortiz says August 22

Jeff, you must have bought a CDMA version of the Moto G 4G LTE (Verizon or Sprint). You would have needed to buy the GSM version of the phone (AT&T or T-Mobile).

Reply
Yonig Foosha says September 25

So, just talked to Cricket support, and the 4G LTE version of the Moto G should be on their website by the end of September 2014. They are still negotiating the distribution rights with Motorola at this moment. And the price directly from Cricket will be better than you can get elsewhere. http://cricketwireless.mediaroom.com/2014-09-17-Smartphones-and-Fashion-Cricket-Wireless-Puts-Design-on-Demand-with-Debut-of-New-4G-LTE-Moto-G

Reply
    Laurie says September 25

    Yeah, the $149 price tag is quite good. I like the phone and the price point is just right. While not as good as the Moto X, the price is hard to beat.

    Reply
Steve Buechler says November 16

I bought the Unlocked Moto X (2nd Gen) from Motorola.com and then got the Cricket Wireless Sim Card and I’m up and running on their $35 p. Month Plan!

Reply
mart says November 20

Ok so I’m using unlocked HTC one m8 on straighttalk getting 4g no problems was that bling about switching to cricket but got a similar compatibility message saying that I’m compatible for up to 3g speeds any ideas?*

Reply
    Laurie says November 20

    That’s strange. It says it can get AT&T LTE, so it should work. It said the same thing about my phone, but that was because my phone didn’t have a 4G version for some time and then I got one that did. The only thing I can say is you can just try it out, but that could be cumbersome.

    Reply
SNN says January 3

I’m interested in the rumored capped speeds of 8 megs. I also would like to know how good/bad support is. If one does or does not get the extended warranty or accidental insurance, what happens if the phone malfunctions based on manufacturer’s defects? How are those situations handled? I ask because I am on my 5th LG G2 with Verizon in 11 months and if I didn’t have the $9 Asurion insurance, I’d be out mega bucks. People talk plans and phones, but never really mention the support after the sale.

Reply
    Laurie says January 4

    I have not heard anything about capped speeds. I have never encountered capped speeds, so I can’t confirm any rumor. As for customer service, I have had great experiences with them. I do say that I have gone into the stores to deal with things as they are near me. With regards to phones breaking, if you buy your own phone, then you are on the hook for it. There is not insurance for it as you didn’t buy the phone from them. You might be able to purchase insurance, but I don’t tend to have issues with phones and think the insurance is unnecessary in my situation. I have only used it once in 12 years and they didn’t give me anything but a hassle.

    Reply
      SNN says January 4

      Cricket does offer $7 insurance turns out. They confirmed the 8 meg speed cap. Warranty work with or without insurance is out of pocket, unless damaged, then the deductible applies. But with the price of their phones, one could afford to replace.

      Reply
        Laurie says January 4

        I did some digging and found the 8mb/sec cap. Now, that is plenty fast enough do do most things on a phone. I haven’t had problems streaming videos, netflix, downloading pictures and browsing the web wit this cap. I appreciate you confirming this information!

        Reply
B Mo says March 31

I have Family Mobile currently, with the Moto G 2014. I do fine with the service, but have problems will MMS messages. Do you have good experience with MMS messages with this service?

Reply
B Mo says April 6

I rec’d my cricket SIM today. Unfortunately I’m experiencing some issues with MMS not working correctly. Would you mind telling me your APN settings that you use and work well?

Thanks!

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says April 7

    I have an APN just for MMS. Here are the details: (only showing what is actually filled in)

    Name: AioMMS
    APN: ndo
    MMSC: http://mmsc.aiowireless.net
    MMS Proxy: proxy.aiowireless.net
    MMS Port: 80
    MCC: 310
    MNC: 150
    Authentication Type: PAP
    APN type: mms
    APN Protocol: IPv4
    APN roaming protocol: IPv4
    MVNO type: none

    Try that and see if it works.

    Reply
B Mo says April 7

I am so beyond frustrated. Motorola is saying that the Moto G 2014 doesn’t support Group Messages. They recommended I download Textra (which I did). Still doesn’t work. When I contacted Cricket, they also said they do not support Group Messages. I’m tempted to now switch to AT&T and see if it will finally work.

When Cricket pushed the APN settings to me when I first plugged in the SIM card I ended up discarding the settings (they didn’t work, and another forum had other APN settings to try so I tried those with no success).

Is there a way to have Cricket repush the APN settings?

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says April 7

    Sorry to hear it. I don’t use group messaging, so this wasn’t even in my mind. I never have used group messaging. The MMS does work on Cricket, but group messaging is a different story. Motorola doesn’t support it because their phones have very little modification from base Android, which doesn’t include group messaging capability.

    You need to call them or take your phone to a Cricket store. They need to see why your MMS is not working. I hope you’re not confusing MMS and group texting, as they are two different things.

    Reply
B Mo says April 7

I am definitely confusing MMS and group texting. My picture messages work without any issue. However, I thought group messaging was also affected by your MMS settings??

So, nobody using Android right now is able to text 5 people at a time (what I consider group messaging)? I just want to be able to text with my family members all at once without missing messages.

Thanks for your help!

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says April 8

    From what I’ve read, the default Android sends group texts as SMS. That being said, if Cricket doesn’t allow it (possibly AT&T doesn’t give Cricket access to that service), then you wouldn’t be able to do it anyway.

    When you group text, are you just typing in the names of each person or do you actually have groups already created? I have texted three or four people before with no issues, but I type in the names each time.

    Well, default Android does offer group text, but it is via SMS. Most people have Android phones that have been customized by the carrier or the phone manufacturer. They choose what they do with Android.

    I’ve never had a problem texting multiple people, nor have I had issues with MMS on my Moto G.

    Reply
B Mo says April 8

I am just typing in the names individually. When I do, the recipients will get the message, but when they reply I don’t get the message.

You say that you never had trouble texting multiple people on your Moto G, and you’re on Cricket, correct? It doesn’t make sense why it would work for you and not for me.

To throw another wrench in here, I think it depends on how many you text. If I’m only texting 3 other people, it works just fine. But if its 7 other people, then it does not work.

Weird. Thanks for helping me sort through this!

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says April 8

    That is incredibly weird. I have no idea why it would work with 3, but not 7. Maybe 5 is the cut off?

    I wish I had the answer for you, but unfortunately, I don’t. Yes, I have the Moto G 4G LTE 1st Edition on Cricket Wireless.

    Reply
Larry Blankenship says July 17

Hello Grayson
I have read your post on Cricket wireless. I was wondering if you have done a speed test on data. I’m still on Family Mobile and the speed of the data in town is around 15 mbs. The coverage is spotty and nonexistent out of town. We were on AT&T before and were pleased with the service and coverage. The bill not so much.
I was wondering if it will be worth the time and money to switch to cricket.
Thanks for your information.
LB

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says July 17

    Hey Larry,

    I have done speed tests (you found some answers) and it ranges around 7mb to 18mb around town. The best part about it is I get clear service in my office and at home. It also just has more coverage than T-Mobile. I’ve been really happy with it.

    Reply
Larry Blankenship says July 17

I answered my own question by simply reading all of the posts. To much coffee and not enough sleep.
L B

Reply
Jesse says August 3

I’m having the same problem as B Mo, where my phone is not receiving group texts. It is incredibly frustrating! Has anyone found a solution to this problem?

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says August 19

    Mine just starting doing that and it is irritating. I’m wondering if they updated some servers and didn’t provide the new APN settings.

    Reply
Larry Blankenship says May 3

Mr Bell
I switched our account to cricket wireless in January of this year. I like the service, everything about it except. Two or three times a year we travel to Clovis new Mexico, zip code 88101. There is no service at all, AT&T customers are said to have service through Plateau wireless. According to AT&T and Plateau websites AT&T is in the process of buying a switching over to there network.
What is the best way to get information on the progress and possibly completion of this project?
Thank you
Larry Blankenship

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says May 3

    You would need to contact AT&T. I don’t have any insight into their projects or respective completion dates. I don’t think Cricket would know either.

    Reply
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