Remember last week when we learned that Cricket would soon be flipping the switch on its second 4G LTE market? Today we know exactly which city the carrier chose, as it has announced that its LTE service is now live in Las Vegas, Nev. Cricket first introduced its LTE network in Tucson, Ariz., in late 2011 and has been testing the service there ever since. Cricket says that over 80 percent of its network footprint in Las Vegas will be covered with LTE, and in its testing, the Las Vegas LTE network is anywhere between 3 to 15 times faster than its 3G service. The carrier expects to roll out LTE service to 21 million POPs by the end of 2012 and will offer LTE service across two-thirds of its footprint in the next two to three years.
When it comes to devices that are able to access Cricket's LTE service, only one piece of hardware is currently available. The Huawei Boltz is a USB modem that can hop onto Cricket's 4G LTE network as well as its 3G service and has a microSD slot that can support cards up to 32GB in size. Pricing for the Boltz is set at $149.99, and Cricket's LTE data plans range from $35 to $80 per month.
While Cricket may only have a pair of LTE markets right now, it's still good to see the carrier starting to spread its 4G service to another area, especially since the last city went live in late 2011. As the network continues to expand to more towns, expect Cricket to begin adding LTE-capable smartphones to its lineup. What will be interesting is seeing exactly what kinds of handsets it lands. Until we hear more from Cricket, you can find the full announcements of today's news at the Leap Wireless links below.