Deciding Between The Major Cell Phone Carriers
Cell phones are becoming more and more advanced, which means bills are going up and up. Now everyone has a smart phone and data costs can drive your bill through the roof, so deciding on your cell phone provider is as important as ever. There are dozens of different options and although they may seem to be very similar, there are some differences that could make one provider better than another for you.
At&t is one of the giants of the mobile phone industry and has been providing cell phone service for over a decade. The size of at&t, and the other major providers, has it’s advantages and disadvantages. At&t is competitively priced with the other major carriers, but is still more expensive than cheaper options like Cricket and MetroPCS. However, At&t has the best (or 2nd depending on who you ask) coverage in America. You will almost never have an issue getting reception on your At&t phone. At&t has the largest selection of major cell phone brands on the market, so if you are someone who doesn’t just plan on getting the iPhone every few years, at&t could be the plan for you.
Verizon, like At&t, is one of the largest cell phone service providers and has been around for years. Verizon is typically ranked first in coverage and near the top in every service category. With this level of service comes additional cost. Verizon is pretty much the most expensive cell phone service provider, depending on your specific needs. You will pay a few extra dollars a month with Verizon, but you can feel confident that you are getting the best cell phone service available.
T-Mobile has always been the third wheel to At&t and Verizon. It is not quite as big as these 2 giants but is not far behind. The biggest advantage of using T-Mobile is the prices. It is cheaper, sometimes significantly, than the bigger competitors. With this saving comes a slight hit to your service quality. If you are in a big city or highly populated area, T-Mobile’s service is as good as it gets. But if you are in a more rural area or frequently visit one, you are going to have some problems with T-Mobile. T-Mobile has made the decision to sacrifice service in rural areas to provide the best prices possible, so if you live in an area with decent T-Mobile coverage it is definitely the way to go.
There are dozens of other options to choose from when selecting a cell phone service provider. The 3 above are the leaders, along with Sprint, and have been cemented in their positions for years. New, cheaper alternatives have recently started to flood the market like Cricket, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile and more. These alternatives are all similar in the sense that they undercut the price of the bigger brands by sacrificing service. They all cause little to no problems if you are in cities, but usually are not suitable for people outside the cities. They offer different payment models like pay-as-you-go and different plan structures that can provide big savings to a customer in the right situation. If you plan on using a provider outside of the top few, we recommend doing your research to ensure service will not be an issue.
All of these cell phone providers have different situations that they are suitable for. At the end of the day it really just depends on your personal needs. It is important to do extensive research before making your decision, especially since you are likely going to be locked into at least a year long contract.