Did you know that 5G data is 10 times faster than 4G?
This new standard in mobile internet is impressive, but it means nothing if your carrier keeps dropping your calls and you keep running into service dead spots. Why pay all that money if you can’t even experience the best cell phone service there is?
This can be the result of a number of problems, such as poorly-placed cell towers, or cell towers concentrated only in the most densely populated areas. Further, a new cell phone company might be piggybacking off an existing network, explaining a slogging bandwidth. And if you’re an avid VPN user, this only compounds the problem.
It’s hard to know where to turn for the best cell phone provider, so in this article, you’ll learn about the top 10 cell phone companies so you can experience 5G as it should be.
Verizon Wireless is undoubtedly the king of all cell phone providers, and it earns that rank with good reason: it provides unparalleled speeds and quality of service. This is because, in the US and Canada, Verizon has some of the most widespread coverage, and offers speedy, reliable connections almost anywhere you go.
Verizon used to have poor ratings for customer service, but this changed during the pandemic. So if you want to avoid spending long hours on the phone just to set up a basic answering machine, Verizon is your go-to.
That said, Verizon is not a budget-friendly cell phone carrier. The cheapest plan available starts at $30, with some plans running you upwards of $90 a month. If you need a lot of data, but can’t afford to pay Verizon’s steep prices, then you’ll want to look for a budget provider.
However, you’re paying for quality. Even if you get their cheapest plan with 500MB of data a month, you get those jaw-dropping 5G speeds in a wide area of coverage that other carriers can’t compete with. And if you’re an international traveler who spends time abroad, they offer plans for unlimited calling in up to 185 countries.
This carrier will be perfect for those who want to get the most reliable, high-speed mobile internet available. It’s a great option for tech enthusiasts who want gigabit speeds.
If you spend most of your time away from home but need those unmatched speeds while on the go, it might make sense to pay for a lesser ISP plan and a better phone plan.
If Verizon is all about speed, AT&T is all about coverage. While it does feature 5G, this won’t be the bleeding edge speed you get at Verizon.
AT&T happens to be one of the largest cell phone companies in the US and offers plans for veterans and seniors. One major downside about AT&T is that it has some of the poorest customer service compared to its competitors.
That said, AT&T allows you to use your own phone in most cases, and offers competitive international rates. Their plans start out at $30 per month.
Now that you’ve seen the best cell phone companies around, let’s take a look at one that anyone can afford.
Where Verizon’s unlimited mobile data plan could make a serious dent in your wallet, Mint Mobile offers unlimited data for only $30. While this won’t give you Verizon’s speeds and coverage, it at least means you won’t run out of data on the go.
And to assuage your concerns, Mint Mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that runs on T-Mobile’s network. What this means is that your Mint Mobile plan allows you to run on another reliable network, rather than relying on a limited network run by a small company. So you won’t be getting T-Mobile speeds, per se, but you won’t have to worry about running out of coverage.
There is one big catch, though. Mint Mobile requires you to purchase a yearly plan in order to lock down that amazing price. That might not be so bad if you’re trying to consolidate your debt and keep yourself in the green.
Mint belongs to T-Mobile, but Visible is Verizon’s budget provider. Like Mint, it runs off of Verizon’s network but is in fact a separate company with its own plans.
Think of Visible as the “performance” plan for budget users. It has a higher unlimited data price, but this includes higher network speeds and better overall reliability. Best of all, you can bring your own phone.
Visible plans start at $40 a month.
T-Mobile is a worthy Verizon competitor because it has some of the best customer service and special plans. This cell phone provider really tries to help out those who need it most. It offers specialty plans and deals for seniors, emergency service providers, and even veterans.
If you want to get close to Verizon speeds and coverage, but minus Verizon prices, this is a good place to start. T-Mobile keeps things neatly organized into three tiers. You can use a monthly plan starting at $60 or try out a pre-paid plan for as little as $40 a month.
While some companies like Verizon offer at-home internet plans, they don’t allow you to combine them with your phone for savings. Xfinity is the solution for those who want to bundle their home internet with a phone plan.
You will have a larger upfront bill, but the savings you get by having Xfinity service for both your home and phone internet will be huge in the long run.
Xfinity is another virtual network that runs on Verizon. Phone plans begin as low as $15 per month.
This is another network running on T-Mobile and serves as a discounted service for those in search of lower rates. You can get a whopping 10GB for only $40 a month, and best of all this carrier won’t count any traffic on certain services, such as Spotify music streaming.
The downside is that Metro has fierce competition from budget companies such as Mint and Visible. However, many of those budget companies won’t give you 5G speeds, which is why Metro might be for you.
Mint, Visible, and Metro run on existing networks. But Red Pocket runs on all of them.
Red Pocket’s selling point is that you can choose whichever network is fastest in your area and use that. And with all of their plans being unlimited data plans, this means the only limiting factor is speed. You can sign up for just $20 a month.
If you love the Google Pixel phones, this is the best cell phone carrier for you. It has a philosophy similar to Red Pocket, in that it uses the best available network to get you the best speed at that time.
Google’s reputation precedes Google Fi. They optimize your speeds based on location in relation to the nearest cell tower. Other services like Red Pocket put this decision in your hands, but Google does it all automatically.
All plans are unlimited, though you’ll be starting out at $70 a month. However, this will be the highest speed possible for Google users. Users of other phones won’t reap the benefits since Google caters this service to its Pixel fans.
Some people can survive without social media on the go, and if you’re one of these people, then Consumer Cellular is for you. It has affordable data plans coming in at $25 a month, without sacrificing coverage and speed. This is a great cell phone provider for those who just need calling and the occasional use of apps.
If you’re a member of the AARP (a senior citizen) then you get an automatic 5% discount. Even without the discount, this is wonderful for those who need to save money.
The top 10 cell phone companies give you plenty of options to choose from, and these options allow you to customize your plan to exactly how you use it. Whether you’re a high-data user who wants to benefit from blistering speeds or a low-data user who just needs the cheapest plan available, there’s something for you.
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