By the numbers alone, Virgin offers the greatest potential savings. Its $30 plan would save $300 a year over Cricket, but even its $40 plan — with far more calling minutes included than the average American uses— saves enough over a year to offset Cricket’s cheaper upfront price.
Virgin also offers a wider usable network. Although Cricket relies on the same Sprint network to fill in gaps in its own network, it will only sell the iPhone in markets where it provides service on PCS (Personal Communications Service) frequencies. In its AWS (Advanced Wireless Service) territory, a Cricket iPhone will still work but customers can’t buy one.