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AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Verizon: Which is best cellphone carrier in 2022

Complete guide to make best decision.

It’s not easy to switch cellular providers. Despite the fact that the United States has three primary networks, the real number of cellular providers and plans is substantially more. Sifting through the jumbled chaos may be exhausting even for the most seasoned of us. We’d want to make things a little easier for you. Here’s how to pick a cell phone plan in the year 2022.

Table of Contents

Which Network Is Best For You?

There are three major networks in the United States: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. All three companies provide direct services and operate nationwide networks that support 4G LTE and 5G.

Finding a network that works in your location is the most critical component of picking a network. As a result, it’s difficult for us to provide a blanket recommendation for a certain carrier. T-service Mobile’s in New York, for example, may be fantastic, but Verizon’s coverage in rural Iowa is more dependable.

While your mileage may vary, the good news is that these networks are always evolving and improving, especially as the three big competitors battle to cover the United States with 5G. It’s likely that you left a network grumbling about its poor service a decade ago, but that network has now toughened up as a result of the arms race for users.

Inquire about the experience of any friends or family members in your neighbourhood who have used the carrier you are considering. You might also visit a carrier’s shop to check if it offers any free options to try out the service before making the move, such as T-Test Mobile’s Drive. Those interested in trying out Verizon’s service can do so through a similar scheme offered by Visible (so long as you have an unlocked iPhone).

Know About Other Players In Market

While the major networks are operated by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, a number of smaller wireless operators operate on their airwaves. There are the prepaid brands that each carrier has, for starters. T-Mobile has Metro, AT&T has Cricket, and Verizon has Visible. For service, they all rely on their parents’ networks.

Smaller companies, like larger ones, rely on larger networks for service. T-Mobile is used by Mint Mobile and Google Fi, for example, whereas Verizon is used by Comcast and Spectrum for its respective Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile brands.

While Dish builds out its own 5G network, Boost Mobile, which is now owned by Dish, uses a combination of T-Mobile and AT&T.

The advantage of these smaller carriers, which are sometimes referred to as MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), is that you can have access to the larger provider’s service at a lower cost. If you find that Verizon works best in your area but that its service is too expensive, moving to Visible, Spectrum Mobile, or Xfinity Mobile may let you to keep similar coverage while paying a little less (though you may lose out on some other perks like free streaming services).

We’ve broken down a couple of these providers, indicating which network they utilise and some of their features.

The advantage of these smaller carriers, which are sometimes referred to as MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), is that you can have access to the larger provider’s service at a lower cost. If you find that Verizon works best in your area but that its service is too expensive, moving to Visible, Spectrum Mobile, or Xfinity Mobile may let you to keep similar coverage while paying a little less (though you may lose out on some other perks like free streaming services).

We’ve broken out a number of these providers, including the networks they utilise and some of the trade-offs to consider.

Know About Your Installment Plan

Two-year contracts have thankfully vanished from the wireless market in the United States. Regrettably, they appear to be being phased out in favour of longer payment arrangements.
To acquire a free iPhone 13, AT&T needed you to agree to a 36-month instalment plan as part of the requirements.

T-Mobile has been requiring a 30-month commitment to get its deals, while Verizon has been experimenting with going from 24 to 30 months.

Following AT&T’s lead, Verizon now exclusively provides 36-month instalment plans. T-Mobile still has 24-month plans available, but pricier products like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 will require a 36-month plan if you want to pay monthly.

With these extended time frames, you can obtain a more expensive new phone for a lot less money, but you’ll have to stick with that carrier (and possibly a more expensive unlimited plan) for two or three years. If you leave before that period has expired, you may be required to pay the phone’s balance, which some providers need before “unlocking” the device for usage on other networks.

However, the big carriers frequently provide several hundred dollars to subsidise the transition when you switch. However, before you go, check your account online or visit your carrier’s shop to see how much you may still owe on your phone.

Know About Discounts

Keep in mind that depending on your company, military status, student status, or even age, you may be eligible for additional discounts from all of the carriers. If you’re on a family plan, a family member can be eligible even if you aren’t.

Every major carrier offers discounts to first responders, military members, veterans, nurses, and teachers in particular. Students can get discounts from Verizon, T-Work Mobile’s perk can save you $10 per month on a Magenta Max plan, and AT&T has a similar programme called Signature for its Unlimited Elite plan.

You may be eligible for a cheaper plan if you’re 55 or older: T-Mobile offers countrywide cheap rates starting at $55 per month for two lines, while Verizon and AT&T only offer similar plans to Florida residents.

If you switch, you could save money, or you could cut your existing rate and save the trouble of switching providers.

Know About Perks

Many of the major carriers include bonuses, such as streaming services, with their higher-end unlimited plans. Verizon’s Play More and Get More unlimited plans include the Disney Bundle (Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus), AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan includes HBO Max, and T-Magenta Mobile’s and Magenta Max plans include Netflix, Paramount Plus, and Apple TV Plus. Even users with older T-Mobile or Sprint plans can take advantage of the Paramount offer.

Even prepaid and smaller carriers provide incentives with their unlimited plans, such as Cricket (HBO Max with Ads), Metro by T-Mobile (Amazon Prime Video), and US Mobile (a number of possibilities).

Furthermore, some Verizon plans (such as the top Get More option) include Apple Music, and T-Magenta Mobile’s and Magenta Max plans include GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi. T-Metro Mobile’s plan includes 100GB of Google One storage and a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime. With Google Stadia Pro and Nvidia GeForce Now, AT&T offers six months of free gaming.

Switching to the correct provider if you’re already paying for one or more of these services could help you save even more money.