Only five of the more than 100 carriers in the United States own and operate their own national wireless networks. They are as follows:
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are commonly referred to as the “Big Four.” A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is any carrier that is not one of the five majors. MVNOs are small carriers that operate on one or more major networks.
Networks in the United States and the Availability of Different Phone Companies in these Networks
Each network in the United States provides varying levels of coverage. Before selecting a plan from one of these major carriers, it’s critical to understand all of the details.
Verizon is well-known for providing excellent coverage. Because they have 70% nationwide 4G LTE coverage, they have the best cell phone companies reception in the country. Of course, there are some small gaps in the coverage map, but they do provide over 90% coverage in 27 states. In addition, their 3G network is robust, with 62% coverage. They are an excellent choice for frequent domestic travellers or people who live in rural areas due to their extensive coverage.
One disadvantage of using Verizon is that their phone companies’ plans are among the most expensive on the market. Although they have some nice features, such as roaming privileges in Mexico and Canada and Apple Music, some of their competitors outperform them in terms of perks.
T-4G Mobile’s network is equally robust, with 59% coverage across the United States. However, their 3G network is deficient, with only about 22% of 3G coverage. When a 4G signal is unavailable, your phone company will fall back to 3G.
However, there are numerous benefits to selecting a T-Mobile cell phone company plan. This GSM carrier’s plan pricing includes taxes and fees, so what you see is what you get. They are also known for providing outstanding customer service. If you have a postpaid plan with them, you get your own dedicated team of experts who are just a text message away via the T-Mobile app. They also have fantastic features such as Netflix, unlimited international data, and unlimited international texting.
AT&T’s 4G LTE network covers 58% of the country, trailing only T-Mobile by 1%. T-4G Mobile’s network, on the other hand, is heavily reliant on the 600 MHz spectrum, which not all phone companies can access. AT&T actually beats out fellow GSM carrier T-Mobile for a second place without this spectrum. Furthermore, AT&T’s 3G network is the best in the country, with 70% coverage nationwide.
AT&T plans are fairly expensive, but they include great features such as unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, as well as access to 35 channels of live TV and over 15,000 on-demand movies and shows. Furthermore, the AT&T Unlimited & More Premium plan includes a premium entertainment subscription of your choice (Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Pandora, Amazon Music, or VRV). As a result, AT&T is an excellent carrier for anyone who enjoys watching TV and movies on their smartphones.
Sprint’s nationwide coverage lags far behind that of Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T—their 4G LTE network covers only 27% of the country, and their 3G network is equally inadequate.
Nonetheless, they have good coverage in parts of the Midwest and East Coast. If you live on the West Coast, you might want to look into another carrier.
Sprint’s feature-rich and cost-effective unlimited plans provide some of the best value in the industry. These are just a few of the benefits they provide:
- Extensive hotspot allowances
- Travelling to Mexico and Canada
- International texting and data are unlimited.
- Prime Video
Sprint also offers leasing options for device payment plans, which is a unique feature. Leasing a smartphone rather than purchasing one aid in the preservation of the environment.
The 4G network of US Cellular covers only 10.27% of the country, the least of the five major networks. They do, however, have roaming agreements with the Big Four that ensure service for their customers when they are off-network. Although U.S. Cellular’s primary network coverage is limited, in some areas, such as parts of
- New Hampshire
Customers benefit from far better coverage than the carrier’s coverage map suggests thanks to roaming agreements with US Cellular. However, if you prefer non-roaming coverage, you should consider switching to a different cell phones company provider, such as Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Furthermore, if great features are important to you, U.S. Cellular is probably not the best choice—their plans are pretty basic.
Other Cell Phone Companies Service Providers
MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) do not own their own networks and instead operate on one or more of the major networks. These small carriers purchase network space at a discount from the major carriers, allowing them to offer low-cost phone company plans. MVNO plans typically do not require a credit check, and the majority of them are prepaid.
MVNOs range in size from massive corporations such as Cricket Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and Metro by T-Mobile to smaller carriers such as Tello and Mint Mobile. There are so many MVNOs available that it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. Finally, the best MVNO for you will be one that meets your specific requirements and preferences.
There are numerous factors to consider when selecting the best phone company carrier and plan for you. As an example:
- Where do you call home?
- Which network is your favourite?
- Do you travel frequently? Do you travel both domestically and internationally?
- What are your top concerns? (Price, features, service, etc.)
- Are you more interested in postpaid or prepaid plans?
- Do you require a new phone?
- Do you want the freedom to create your own plan?
- Do you frequently use data to stream music or videos?
- Do you wish to avoid a credit check?
- How frequently do you connect to WiFi?
- Are you fine with data deprioritization?
Answering these questions will assist you in choosing between a major carrier and an MVNO, as well as narrowing your cell phone companies by providing a search within the category you select.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Major Network
|Fast Data Speeds as compared to MNOVs||Could be Expensive|
|A larger selection of smartphones||Lesser variety in plans|
|Many features in the plans|
|It carries the newest smartphone|
Advantages and Disadvantages of MNOVs
|No feature of Credit Check||Phone selections are limited|
|Much Cheaper plans||They don’t have many offline stores|
|A vast variety of plans||Fewer features for subscriptions|
|The same network is used as major carriers|
A telecommunications carrier network is a collection of devices and underlying infrastructure that allows data to be transmitted from one location to another. The data transmission service is sold as a commodity, either directly to the end-user or through a reseller.
Computers and other devices must be linked in order for the internet to function. For example, in order for a computer or smartphone to display this webpage, data must travel physically from the TechTarget servers to the user’s device. A single long cable connecting them is obviously impractical.
Various carriers own and maintain the equipment that transmits data from one location to another and connects different carrier networks.