Cricket is no longer reserving 5G for its priciest service tier. As of today, 5G is enabled for all of the prepaid carrier's plans. As you might guess, the provider is also doing away with the modest 8Mbps cap on most of its plans. You can pay as little as $30 per month (for one line) for 5G, to put it another way — important if you're more interested in raw speed than anything else.
There are some caveats. Cricket isn't changing data caps for its two lowest-priced plans, so you could burn through the modest 2GB or 10GB allotments that much sooner. You also don't have many choices for 5G phones if you buy directly from Cricket, including the iPhone 13 range as well as a handful of low-end Motorola and Samsung models. You'll still have a strong incentive to use the higher-end tiers, and you may want to bring your own phone.
It's no secret as to why AT&T is making Cricket more appealing, though. Cricket added 2 million customers (now 12.4 million total) in just the past two years. While AT&T's regular service clearly has more overall subscribers, Cricket is the hotter property in terms of relative growth. Adding 5G to more plans could keep that momentum alive. And simply speaking, Cricket needed to catch up. Rivals like Boost Mobile and T-Mobile's Metro already offer 5G across multiple tiers. Your choice of prepaid carriers may now boil down to specific plan features and network quality.