US prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless
has launched new, cheaper monthly plans. An added family bundle includes two smartphone plans for $40 each, versus the $50 per phone the carrier would normally charge. Significantly Cricket has also lowered the base cost for its iPhone plans to $50 per month, which gets subscribers unlimited calling and texts, plus 1GB of unthrottled data. Previously the same plan was $55.
A $60 iPhone plan upgrades data to 2.5GB, while paying $70 raises the cap to 5GB. The family bundle requires that customers sign up for Cricket's Automatic Bill Pay system.
The carrier may be facing pressure to compete with T-Mobile, which recently joined Cricket in officially carrying the iPhone 5 contract-free
. T-Mobile's plans also start at $50 per month, but that tier only includes 500MB of data. The carriers are on par at the $60 level, and at $70 T-Mobile is promising unlimited data, though that's restricted to 500MB when using an iPhone as a hotspot.