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What is the best phone carrier in the USA?

Staying connected
What is the best phone carrier in the USA?
Staying connected

Looking to switch phone providers? There are plenty of reasons to do so. Maybe you’ve got your eyes on the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and you’re looking for the best deal around. Or maybe you’ve just moved states, or just arrived in the US and you’re looking for the provider that best fits you. Of course, you could also be looking to cut costs on your phone bill, so you’re looking for the cheapest provider around.

Since there are so many possible reasons to switch phone companies, so many people with different needs and resources, it can be difficult to answer a simple question: which is the best phone carrier? After all, are you looking for the cheapest network around? Or perhaps the one with the best coverage. Maybe you want to use a lot of data, or barely any at all.

Comparing phone companies can feel a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Beyond the basic question of whose network is the best, different people will prefer different phone providers. What works for you, might not work for someone else. That’s why we organized this guide around different use cases. Instead of asking what’s the best phone carrier in general we’ll review what the best options are for budget control, small companies, families, and more.


Who has the best network in the USA?

The one thing we can compare between phone carriers is coverage. So which carrier has the best network? In terms of raw numbers, Verizon wins. Their 4G network covers 71% of the US. Second place belongs to AT&T, with a 4G coverage of 68% of the country. T-Mobile comes in third place, with 61%. These numbers mean nothing if the coverage isn’t where you are of course. With this map, you can check which phone carriers have coverage where you are.

Coverage is not the only part of a good phone network. Internet speed matters too. In terms of speed, Verizon wins too. Thanks to their Ultra Wideband 5G. You need a 5 G-compatible phone to use this service, however, and it’s only available in a select amount of cities.


Who has the best phone service for small businesses?

What are the best phone carriers for (small) businesses? If you’re looking for a phone carrier to use for your business, you’ll need a carrier that allows multiple lines and unlimited talk, text, or data options. In addition, your plan should be tailored to fit your specific business. If you won’t require talk options, look into business text and email plans.

One Phone carrier that offers this is RingCentral. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a cheaper but reliable phone carrier. RingCentral offers most standard features for businesses, such as unlimited calls, audio conferencing, video meetings, call recording, and more. Sadly RingCentral’s coverage is not the best.

Another good option is Verizon. As stated above they have the best network. They offer tons of features for businesses. The only downside is that Verizon can be quite expensive.


Best Phone Carriers for if you’re on a budget

Owning a smartphone can be expensive. Even if you don’t have the latest phone and aren’t upgrading to one. So getting a phone plan that offers exactly what you need for a good price is important. But what is the best phone carrier if you’re trying to stay within your budget?

One great option is Mint Mobile. They have a set of cheap plans on offer. Besides that, you can choose between various different phones or bring your own device. Mint uses T-Mobile’s network, which is relatively fast but, as stated above, does not have the best coverage.

Most of the big phone carriers in the US have cheaper plans. Especially if you’re bringing your own device. You can use this guide to compare the many different bring-your-own-phone plans in the US.

Another good way to stay on a budget is to ditch phone plans altogether and go prepaid. With prepaid you only pay for what you need, when you need it. Mobile recharge is easy to buy online – you can recharge AT&T Prepaid, Verizon Prepaid, and more on Recharge.com.


Related products


Best cell phone company for seniors

According to Pew Research, 97 percent of people 50 and older own a cell phone. Among this group, a large majority own a smartphone. For that reason, plenty of phone carriers offer special plans to this group. You can find some of these deals here.


Going Prepaid: Another way of staying within your budget

As we said above, prepaid is another great way of staying within your budget. Most of the carriers mentioned in this guide have prepaid offers.

One phone carrier that’s great for going prepaid is Simple Mobile. They have no contracts, no credit checks, and no hidden fees. You can find their coverage map here. Simple’s rates are relatively cheap and it’s easy to re-up your call credit and data when you need to. You can recharge Simple Mobile call credit and data on Recharge.com.

The big US phone carriers offer prepaid plans as well. This includes AT&T and Verizon. Both are slightly more expensive than Simple, but they come with the added benefits of greater coverage, faster speeds, and more perks, like using your phone cheaper abroad. You can find out more about AT&T’s prepaid plans here, or get your AT&T call credit and data here. Or you can check out Verizon’s prepaid plans and recharge Verizon prepaid online.


Overall: Best phone companies in the USA

As we stated above, singling out one best phone carrier can be difficult. We hope the guide above has been helpful. To summarize these are what we consider the best phone carriers in their category:

Verizon: Best if you’re willing to spend

  • Great coverage and speeds, but quite expensive

Mint Mobile: Best if you’re on a budget

  • Cheap if you pay for a yearly contract. Good coverage and speed

Simple Mobile: Best if you’re going prepaid

  • Flexible and cheap, but less coverage and speed than the other two

Written by

Ravian Ruys

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