Picking out the perfect phone is important, but none of it means anything if you don’t choose the right cell phone carrier to support it. Consumers are inundated with a consistent flow of information related to which carriers have the best deals or the best 5G support. Trying to sift through all of the advertisements and promotions can get overwhelming to figure out which carrier you should be going with.
These carriers offer different prices and extra features, so it is a good idea to figure out which of these features interests you personally before making a decision. With so many carriers existing in operation at any given time, these companies have to do a lot to stay competitive. If you are patient and do your research, you can find a phone service plan that caters to all your needs.
Who Are the Best Cell Phone Carriers?
T-Mobile is one of the biggest mobile providers in the country, with a 5G network that reaches over 310 million people. With its extensive coverage map, you are unlikely to find a provider that reaches more areas of the United States. T-Mobile is known for its exemplary customer service, with regular community events and updates for consumers who choose their services.
T-Mobile Plan specs
The most high-profile plan that T-Mobile offers is the Magenta line. These plans are unlimited options that provide a wide variety of amenities, including premium data and a Netflix subscription. The Magenta plan costs $40 per line for three lines, which is typical for comparable plans from other companies.
Pros of T-Mobile
This plan features competitive prices and a huge mobile network. Netflix on its own is one of the most popular streaming services in the world, making T-Mobile a tough company to beat. If you aren’t interested in unlimited plans, there are also relatively cheap tiered options.
Cons of T-Mobile
As one of the nation’s big three telecommunications companies, you will have to expect generally steep prices when working with T-Mobile.
Another telecommunications powerhouse, Verizon, has many great deals for interested consumers. Verizon places an especially strong focus on 5G connectivity and varied entertainment options. Verizon’s 5G network functions off of their upgraded C band technology, and their reach is very large. Despite a higher cost, Verizon has some of the most all-encompassing plans out there.
Verizon Plan Specs
Verizon’s primary internet plans are part of the 5G series, which comprises the Do More, Play More, and Get More plans. These plans offer a huge variety of options like access to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, Hulu, TravelPass, Apple Music, 600GB of Verizon Cloud storage, and either Apple Arcade or Google Play. This is on top of premium data and hotspot usage.
Pros of Verizon
Verizon has a ton of features that you won’t find anywhere else, with a future-proof focus on 5G coverage and great plan perks.
Cons of Verizon
Verizon is one of the most expensive carriers you can find, so be ready for high price points if you are interested in the company.
AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world, controlling almost 45% of the market in Q1 2021. As one of the oldest names in the business, AT&T has built up good faith as a strong network carrier with solid customer service and support. AT&T has a coverage map that is comparable to Verizon and T-Mobile.
AT&T Plan Specs
AT&T offers several unlimited plans and prepaid plans that focus on offering a large amount of data for a fair price. The unlimited plans are on the pricier side as the best plan includes an HBO Max subscription and unlimited premium data.
Pros of AT&T
AT&T has an expansive coverage map with tried and true service. Its unlimited plans and prepaid plans both offer great data options for customers.
Cons of AT&T
AT&T doesn’t have the perks or prices to beat out Verizon or T-Mobile, making it hard to recommend despite strong showings in most categories.
About Mint Mobile
Moving away from the big three telecommunication companies, we have Mint Mobile. Mint is a more modest company that runs off of T-Mobile’s network. Mint’s claim to fame is the low prices it offers consumers to compete with the bigger cell phone carriers in the country.
Mint Mobile Plan Specs
Mint Mobile’s best deal is unlimited talk and text for only $30 per month, plus unlimited standard speed data. Mint doesn’t offer any big perks with its plan other than further discounts for paying upfront. For example, for a year’s worth of coverage, you would only pay $15. Mint focuses entirely on getting its prices down as low as possible.
Pros of Mint Mobile
None of the bigger companies can compare with Mint’s low prices, and because they use T-Mobile’s network, the coverage and accessibility are incredibly solid.
Cons of Mint Mobile
Mint is a very basic plan, and you aren’t going to find any of the high-tier features here. Premium data is minimal, and you won’t find any entertainment options.
Metro by T-Mobile
Another company that runs on T-Mobile’s network, Metro by T-Mobile succeeds in being a great budget mobile carrier. For relatively low costs, you can get an unlimited package that runs about as well as T-Mobile from a well-established name in the industry.
Metro Plan Specs
Metro has a $40 per month 10GB plan and a $50 unlimited plan. Coverage is based entirely on T-Mobile’s network, so you will get a comparable experience with both companies as far as the network goes.
Pros of Metro
Metro is a budget option that offers consistent network coverage. It is a great way to access T-Mobile’s network without buying all the bells and whistles.
Cons of Metro
While the prices and network coverage are great, there are other companies that are offering better options. Carriers like Mint have lower prices for access to the same network, and many other companies simply give consumers more choices.
About Google Fi
Google Fi’s coverage is provided by both T-Mobile and US Cellular, and it covers a very strong network. Google Fi provides 5G coverage and can reach 310 million people worldwide through its network.
Google Fi Plan Specs
Google Fi uses a combination of T-Mobile and US Cellular, and Google Pixel phones can switch between the two to ensure you are getting the best possible service. Google Fi offers a plan for $20 per month plus an extra $10 for each gigabyte of data used.
Pros of Google Fi
Google Fi runs on a wide network, and it is $20 per month plan is perfect for people who don’t intend to use up much data.
Cons of Google Fi
If you use more data, then there will be less to like about Google Fi. Its other plans are more expensive than the competition, and it doesn’t have much in the way of perks or features to put it above the rest.
What To Look For When You’re Choosing Cell Phone Service
Several factors go into choosing the right cell phone plan. Some things to consider will mean more to certain people than others, so go into this decision with a good idea of what things matter to you.
Everybody has a budget, and you need to know your acceptable price range before you commit to a phone carrier. Mobile plans come with a wide variety of price options, with some being $10-$30 while others easily make it into the triple-digit range.
Price tends to directly correspond with the number of perks and features offered by a plan, but it should also be noted that bigger and more established companies tend to have higher prices as well. Knowing the price range that you are willing to pay should be the first step you take in determining which carrier you want to go with.
5G is becoming more and more integrated into the country’s mobile infrastructure, and as such, the ways we connect to the internet are changing. The currently accessible networks are a mix of 3G, 4G, and 5G, although 3G is being phased out by the other two.
Different carriers will have different coverage maps, meaning some carriers may give you 5G access in your hometown while others may not. On top of that, some carriers might not cover your area at all. Coverage maps are usually available online, so check out what the coverage area of your favorite carriers looks like.
One of the great things about this virtual era is finding out a company’s reputation with nothing more than a Google search. If a carrier has a history of providing great customer service, it increases the chances of getting the most out of your service for what you pay for it.
You want a provider that will be responsive to calls or complaints and assist in addressing any issues you have promptly and efficiently. Bad customer service could mean getting stuck with a plan that doesn’t work as advertised with overly complex hoops in order to make any changes.
Some mobile devices might only be compatible with particular network carriers in certain cases. You don’t want to compromise the phone you want by choosing a provider that doesn’t work with it. The big network carriers will be compatible with a wide range of phones, but some of the smaller ones are more likely to have restrictions.
It is also worth checking out what devices are available with promotions. Some network companies offer big discounts on certain phones as a perk when choosing them as your provider. Picking the right carrier could vastly reduce starting prices on your phone and phone plan.
Big companies offer extra perks like entertainment subscriptions or extra cloud storage to people who go with their services to stay competitive.
For some companies, the free subscriptions and extra features are more of a draw-in to customers than the phone plans. Smaller phone companies are less likely to have these kinds of features, but many of them will offer big discounts to compete to compensate.
What To Do Next
There are a ton of cell phone carriers out there, but with a little research, you can figure out which one is best for your needs. Some of them, like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, offer many different features that improve your mobile experience if you can afford them. These companies are more expensive, but they come with a level of funding that makes them more advanced than the rest of the market combined.
Other options, like Metro by T-Mobile and Mint Mobile, are based entirely on affordability and giving people options without buying a whole family plan to make it worth the cost. These companies even work on the same networks as larger parent companies like T-Mobile, making them very attractive options on a budget.
Take some time to determine your own needs when deciding on a cell phone carrier. While you should be fully considering a wide range of factors like price, coverage, and company reputation, it is up to you to decide which of these things means the most to you.
Visit Navi for more information on cell service in your area.