Published on March 29th, 2013 | by MadysonGrant0
Can You Hear Me Now? The Real Differences Between Cellular Services
Choosing a cellular network provider can be a difficult decision. Each carrier seems to have mastered the art of highlighting their strengths in their marketing materials while pointing out their competitor’s weaknesses, leaving the consumer confused. How can you know which features actually matter to you? And what phones and features are worth paying for?
Unfortunately, the short answer is: It depends. Each person is different, and one might be more interested in a particular phone model or data plan, while another is more concerned about overall value. Each carrier offers unique value – while some of the bigger carriers offer the more popular phones, the small carriers have to offer great prices and plans to stay competitive.
In the US, Verizon is the biggest carrier and offers the best coverage, especially when it comes to 4G. Their popularity is based on a real difference in the quality of cell service, but they have become so powerful recently that they don’t have to be as competitive with prices and data allowances. Until Verizon got the iPhone in 2011, many consumers stayed with AT&T. In recent years, Verizon’s phone line has grown not only with the iPhone but also with the best Android phones. More technologically interested users may choose Verizon for their great hardware offerings.
AT&T is known for poor cell phone reception, but has stayed surprisingly competitive despite consistently bad ratings. Sprint has slowly been losing market share over the past few years, but has done a great job keeping great customer service and unique features to hold on to as many customers as they can. Sprint is the only carrier to still offer truly unlimited data plans.
T-Mobile is another company that has offered great rates to stay competitive. Both Sprint and T-Mobile have drastically lower rates compared with their larger competitors. They don’t have the greatest selection of phones, although if you’re not looking for a specific model you can probably find a good phone on their networks.
At the extreme budget end of the spectrum are no-contract carriers. Cricket Wireless is one of the best examples of this. They still offer competitive smartphones, at low monthly rates, with no contract. Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile are just a few more of the prepaid carriers that offer reasonable service at really low rates.
When deciding which network you want to choose, decide which factors matter most to you. Is price or service more important? Will you need a family shared data plan, or just a prepaid, limited minute plan? Will you get frustrated if your phone doesn’t have certain features? Consider these factors and investigate different carriers to determine which wireless network you will choose.