Also, what is the difference in service between MetroPCS and Cricket? Please REAL answers, don't hype either company up, I really just want to know the factual differences and who has the best service in reality.
Cricket doesn't own licenses to sell service in Florida. Not yet atleast. Dont know if they bought some in the recent auction or not. Cricket and MetroPCS are very similar in their offerings. If you are looking for unlimited calling from a regional area and dont travel nationwide often, either carrier will be a good choice for you. Phones between the two carriers are very similar too. If you have MetroPCS in your area, then it is worth getting if it fits your needs. No need to wait until Cricket shows up. The Unlimited Boost Mobile offering is in South Florida, however they recently raised their prices and dont compete much price-wise with MetroPCS or Cricket anymore.
No, I do not believe they are owned by the same company.
However, Cricket does not offer service in the Florida area because they do not have licenses down there. However, MetroPCS does. If you have a Cricket phone, you will roam onto the MetroPCS network for free and you will continue to enjoy your unlimited services. The same is true if you have a MetroPCS phone: you can travel to a Cricket area and continue to enjoy your unlimited services.
That is a big reason why they tried to merge together a while back. And many still see that this may end up happening down the road. They both use 1900 MHz primarily and I believe they both will be using the AWS band exclusively soon. So, they're made for one another.