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Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T: Plans Compared

Whether you’re considering an unlimited plan or a capped plan from Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T, the side-by-side cell phone plan comparisons below are sure to help. But first, let’s recap the main similarities and differences between AT&T and Spectrum.

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Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T: Similarities

  • AT&T and Spectrum Mobile offer customers nationwide both 4G LTE coverage and 5G coverage. 
  • AT&T and Spectrum Mobile both include the use of some hotspot data with their unlimited plans.
  • Neither AT&T nor Spectrum Mobile offers bundled perks, such as streaming services, with any of their cell phone plans.
  • Both Spectrum Mobile and AT&T offer more limited international capabilities than other postpaid carriers. Note that although AT&T's international connectivity is mostly limited to Latin America, it surpasses what is offered by Spectrum Mobile.

Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T: Differences

  • Spectrum is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means it rents a network’s infrastructure instead of building and maintaining its own. In Spectrum Mobile’s case, it leases from Verizon. Meanwhile, AT&T owns all its infrastructure.
  • AT&T's unlimited data is truly unlimited. Spectrum Mobile will slow your data down after a certain amount of use.
  • Spectrum Mobile plans at the advertised prices are only available to Spectrum cable and internet customers, while anyone can take advantage of an AT&T plan.
  • AT&T offers multi-line discounts, bringing the monthly per-line cost down for additional lines. Spectrum Mobile plans are a flat rate per line.
  • AT&T does not include taxes and fees in its plan pricing. Spectrum Mobile plans do include taxes and fees.

What Is an Unlimited Plan?

Before we dive into AT&T unlimited plan and Spectrum Mobile unlimited plan comparisons, let’s check what’s generally included in an unlimited plan. While it’s true that all unlimited plans include unlimited data, not all of that data is necessarily of the high-speed variety. 

Keep in mind that Spectrum Mobile in particular can still slow down your data after a certain amount of usage, even on premium unlimited plans.

Entry-level unlimited plans provide unlimited deprioritized data with either a small amount of high-speed data or, in some cases, none at all. 

Mid-level unlimited plans offer a mix of high-speed data and unlimited deprioritized data.

Premium unlimited plans include high-speed data 100% of the time.

What Is a Capped Plan?

Let’s take a minute to define what a capped plan is, also sometimes called a “By the Gig” plan. As the name implies, capped plans offer customers a set amount of data to use per month, instead of unlimited data. All the data on capped plans is deprioritized, which means you may experience data slowdowns when the network is busy, like when you’re in a crowded place like a sports stadium or a big public transit hub.

Capped data plans are sometimes a more cost-effective alternative to unlimited plans. If you don’t mind deprioritized data and you know how much data you use in a typical month, it makes sense to only pay for the data you’re going to use. But if you exceed your monthly allotment, you may run out of data or be charged hefty overage fees.

What About Hotspot Data?

If hotspot data matters to you, then this section will be very relevant, as while both Spectrum Mobile and AT&T cell phone plans offer hotspot data, they don’t do so at equal levels. 

Some carrier cell phone plans, like AT&T, offer a separate hotspot allowance. This allowance is separate from your overall data budget. For example, on all of AT&T’s unlimited plans except for AT&T Value Plus VL, AT&T includes some high-speed hotspot data. This data is distinguished from the mobile premium data you get with the rest of the plan. Once your hotspot data is used up, your hotspot speed will slow to a crawl. But even then, normal browsing data speeds on your mobile device won’t be affected.

Other carriers, like Spectrum Mobile, include hotspot data in your overall data allowance. This means that if your cell phone plan includes 20 GB of unlimited premium data before you’re slowed, and you use up 5 GB of hotspot data, then you only have 15 GB of normal mobile data left for the rest of the month.

Basically, if hotspot data is a crucial factor for you, read the fine print to really understand how each cell phone plan treats hotspot data. 

Comparing Plans

Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T Mobile Capped Plans

If you really don’t need - or want to pay for - an unlimited data plan, you'll find capped data plan options at both AT&T and Spectrum Mobile. Spectrum Mobile offers a “By the Gig” model of capped data consumption, where you can select a plan based on how much data you believe you'll use. You’re free to share each gigabyte with as many lines as you have on your account, making Spectrum’s By the Gig plans particularly attractive for wireless customers that use little to no cellular data but want to have some connectivity just in case, and are willing to share a finite amount of data across all of their lines. In contrast, AT&T provides a single 4GB capped plan that provides each line with a set amount of gigabytes of data.

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Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T Entry-Level Unlimited Plans

If you’re shopping for a cost-effective unlimited plan from AT&T or Spectrum Mobile, the entry-level plans below are the most comparable. These plans work best for light data users who don’t frequently use their phones as hotspots. They mostly use their phone’s Internet connection to check the morning news, read and answer emails, and watch an occasional YouTube video, but that’s about it.

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Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T Mid-Level Unlimited Plans

Middle-of-the-road unlimited plans are a good compromise between price and high-speed data. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, this AT&T and Spectrum Mobile plan comparison is worth a look. Who are these plans for? Average data users who use their phone as a mobile hotspot around 1 to 3 times per week, perhaps play a handful of games on their phones, stream a few shows, and browse social media for a maximum of an hour per day.

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Spectrum Mobile vs AT&T Premium Unlimited Plans

This is a simple comparison because Spectrum Mobile doesn’t offer premium unlimited plans. If you’re a heavy data user who wants to use your phone to connect as a mobile hotspot over 3 times per week, upload plenty of content to social media apps, stream tons of videos and shows, and play graphic-intensive games, you’ll want a plan that can keep up with you. The AT&T unlimited plan below offers you the premium data you need, with the fastest speeds available on the network.

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The Bottom Line

To help you pick the right AT&T unlimited plan vs Spectrum Mobile unlimited plan and to compare cell phone plans from other carriers, be sure to try our Plan Finder below where we sort through thousands of options in seconds to show you the best plans to meet your needs. It’s free and unbiased, and it lets you select things like the number of lines you need, whether you want hotspot data, and which streaming services you’d like to add, so you can understand the total cost of whichever plan you choose before you head to the carrier to sign up.

Still not sure which plan is right for you? Check out our article about what to look for in a wireless plan.

Spectrum Mobile
By the Gig 1GB
$
20
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
1.0GB Premium data
hotspot
shared
None
perks
None
International
  • Send texts from the US to any country for free.
  • Calls to Canada and Mexico included.
None
View Details
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Spectrum Mobile
By the Gig 2GB
$
25
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
2.0GB Premium data
hotspot
shared
None
perks
None
International
  • Send texts from the US to any country for free.
  • Calls to Canada and Mexico included.
None
View Details
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Spectrum Mobile
By the Gig 3GB
$
30
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
3.0GB Premium data
hotspot
shared
None
perks
None
International
  • Send texts from the US to any country for free.
  • Calls to Canada and Mexico included.
None
View Details
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AT&T
4GB
$
50
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
4.0GB Premium data
hotspot
shared
None
perks
None
International
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (2G off net data speeds may apply).
  • Unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries.
None
View Details
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Spectrum Mobile
Unlimited
$
30
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
30.0GB Premium data
hotspot
5GB LTE/5G
None
perks
None
International
  • Send texts from the US to any country for free.
  • Calls to Canada and Mexico included.
None
View Details
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AT&T
Value Plus VL
$
51
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
Deprioritized Data: Unlimited
hotspot
Not Supported
None
perks
None
International
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (2G off net data speeds may apply).
  • Unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries.
None
View Details
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AT&T
Unlimited Starter SL
$
66
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
Deprioritized Data: Unlimited
hotspot
5GB LTE/5G
None
perks
None
International
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (2G off net data speeds may apply).
  • Unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries.
None
View Details
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Spectrum Mobile
Unlimited Plus
$
40
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
50.0GB Premium data
hotspot
10GB LTE/5G
None
perks
None
International
  • Send texts from the US to any country for free.
  • Calls to Canada and Mexico included.
None
View Details
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AT&T
Unlimited Extra EL
$
76
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
75.0GB Premium data
hotspot
30GB LTE/5G
None
perks
None
International
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (2G off net data speeds may apply).
  • Unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries.
None
View Details
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AT&T
Unlimited Premium PL
$
86
/mo/1 line
Taxes and fees are not included
Taxes and fees are included
16
phone lines max
Data
Unlimited Premium data
hotspot
60GB LTE/5G
None
perks
None
International
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (2G off net data speeds may apply).
  • Unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries.
  • Unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data in 19 Latin American countries.
None
View Details
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