Once you've decided which awesome phone works best for you, the next big question comes into play. Which carrier should you put your smartphone on?
All the companies have 4G networks, and "blazing fast speeds", but where will you get the best bang for your buck? Who has the best network? Or the best data plans? Or even the most affordable plans? Well lets do a little carrier analysis and let you decide for yourself.
Let's start off by taking a look at Verizon. I've often heard people say that Verizon is the absolute best network to be on if you want coverage pretty much anywhere you go. However I've also heard it's one of the most expensive. Before we look at any actual figures and statistics let me first say this. Verizon has recently made some huge and exciting changes this year in their plans. They no longer have individual or limited talk and text plans for smartphones which you can see below.
Unlimited Talk and Text-
Share Everything Plans $40 per smartphone and they have share GB tiers which are as follows..
1 GB- $50 a month 10 GB- $100 a month 20 GB- $150 a month
2 GB- $60 a month 12 GB- $110 a month 30 GB- $225 a month
4 GB- $70 a month 14 GB- $120 a month 40 GB- $300 a month
6 GB- $80 a month 16 GB- $130 a month 50 GB- $375 a month
8 GB- $90 a month 18 GB- $140 a month
So that's how Verizon's new plans measure up. Pretty straightforward, I'd say. Let's take a look at how their coverage is.
As we can see, Verizon not only has great basic coverage but is also the leading carrier in LTE coverage as well.
Now let's dive into AT&T!
AT&T also known as "the Big Blue" network, offers a wide variety of plans and add-ons. One major advantage that this company holds over it's competitors is a more globally-expanded network.
$39.99 450 Minutes
$59.99 900 Minutes
$69.99 Unlimited Minutes
$20.00 Add On Unlimited Text
Data Add Ons-
300 MB- $20
3 GB- $30
5 GB- $50
$59.99 550 Minute Shared
$69.99 700 Minutes Shared
$89.99 1400 Minutes Shared
$109.99 2100 Minutes Shared
$119.99 Unlimited Minutes Shared
Text Add-on-(per account)
$30.00 Family Texting
Data Add-on-(per line)
$20.00- 300 MB
$30.00 3 GB
$50.00 5 GB
Family Share Plans-
Unlimited Talk and Text
$40- 1 GB Shared Data- $45 per smartphone
$70- 4 GB Shared Data- $40 per smartphone
$90- 6 GB Shared Data- $35 per smartphone
$120- 10 GB Shared Data- $30 per smartphone
$160- 15 GB Shared Data- $30 per smartphone
$200- 20 GB Shared Data- $30 per smartphone
So now lets go ahead and see just how well AT&T's coverage matches up with our other carriers.
As you can see AT&T's basic coverage is pretty much the same as it's competitors, however the LTE coverage appears to be severely lacking. Overall however they match up pretty well with the other carriers.
Sprint also known as "the Now Network" is probably one of the most well known cellphone providers. One of their best features is their unlimited data. Since their creation the company has never placed a cap on data usage for a customer.
Single line plans-
$69.99 450 Any Mobile Any Time Plan ($10.00 up charge for smartphone data, but it is unlimited data!!)
$89.99 900 Any Mobile Any Time Plan ( $10.00 up charge for smartphone data)
$99.99 Simply Everything ( $10.00 up charge for smartphone data)
$110.00 Everything Data Share Plan 1500 with Any Mobile Any Time
-2nd thru 5th line is $19.99
-$10.00 smartphone data up charge for each smartphone on the plan.
$150.00 Everything Data Share Plan 3000 with Any Mobile Any Time
-2nd thru 5th line is $19.99
-$10.00 smartphone data for each smartphone on the plan.
Because Sprint has two different maps for basic coverage and data, I've included both below. The first is of their basic coverage areas.
Although T-Mobile is not typically thought of as a leading competitor, they have recently increased their business and customer base dramatically, and are quickly moving into the forefront of the cellphone industry. With their "bring your phone" program, you can connect your iPhone to T-mobile, at least until they officially release the iPhone on their network!
Classic Plans- Individual
$49.99 Talk and Text 500
$59.99 Unlimited Talk and Text
Value Plans- Invidual
$39.99 Talk and Text 500
$49.99 Unlimited Talk and Text
Classic Plans- Family
$79.99 Talk and Text 1000
$99.99 Unlimited Talk and Text
Value Plans- Family
$59.99 Talk and Text 1000
$79.99 Unlimited Talk and Text
Data Add Ons:
5GB- $35(includes smartphone mobile hotspot)
10GB- $65(also includes smartphone mobile hotspot)
5GB- $25(includes smartphone mobile hotspot)
10GB- $55(also includes smartphone mobile hotspot)
T-mobile is in the process of partnering with MetroPCS so the map below reflects both companies as one.
While it's clear T-mobile has no where near the coverage that others carriers have, they are a rapidly expanding company that is improving and developing daily.
"Where Does Your Coverage Lie?"
Well we've looked at several major wireless providers and seen how their plans and coverage compare with each other. Whether it's in cost, coverage, or options, each carrier has it's own benefits and downfalls. As the customer it's up to you to decide which works best for you. Please remember this is just a brief rundown of each company. To make a fully educated decision you must still do your own research and use your best judgement.