Before this year ends, we decided to make a full review on the current state of the mobile network carriers in the United States. These mobile carriers are gearing-up on providing the best services and wide range mobile plans that can fit in our lifestyles. It has been a great and tight competition because of their commitment on providing the best valued services for the benefit of their company and their subscribers, and for profit of course :).
Several carriers did a great job in upgrading their system by providing additional infrastructures and creating new mobiles plans. This made a huge factor on why the coming year will be great and exciting. As subscribers, we often put in balance our budget and the services that we get. In the near future, all network carriers plan to win market share. But times are hard, and it’s not all about providing the services alone, it’s also about putting the right price for the right type of job.
Which are the best mobile carriers?
After exhaustive research, we’ve came up with the final cut of this year’s top and the list of the best mobile network providers.
1. All hail to the king of wireless networks! – Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless made it on the top of the list this year because of its solid array of services that you can definitely depend on. Although we cannot deny that Verizon Wireless provides the most expensive mobile carrier services, you cannot ignore the fact that they are the only wireless network provider that has strong coverage in most states.
This year is Verizon 2nd year in a row of the best cellular provider. Verizon Wireless provides reliable support services, lowest rate of dropped calls, connectivity that you can always depend on, widest coverage in the metropolitan and rural areas, and offers a high average download speed, which can be enjoyed by subscribers, without experiencing any slow connection due to heavy network traffic.
Verizon’s success is made possible because of its upgrade last year. Its XLTE network boosted its capabilities as a supreme mobile network provider. Also, almost all of its phones are capable of connecting to this high speed mobile network. If you haven’t upgraded your phone, this coming year would be a great experience for you. Experience the lightning speed of their XLTE network.
Verizon Wireless was hugely demanded starting with 2012, and in the beginning there were severe connectivity issues. Their recent infrastructure boosted a huge leap in their operation. They successfully gained back the control of subscribers, keeping a record as the best bet for everyone who wants to experience a decisive download speed.
2. The best valued call and text plans in town is Sprint’s ultimate weapon!
Even though Sprint’s hiccups with its long overdue network upgrade frustrated its subscribers, this year we can finally say that Sprint’s long awaited network improvements has been brought to light. The company made a successful comeback after a great implementation of a vital network upgrade, thus improving their network capabilities and their services. Sprints wireless network speed is shadowing the Verizon and AT&T and it’s still on the 4th place.
Sprint is leading in providing valued services for cellular plans. If you prefer to call and text, then Sprint can be the right choice for you. Sprint’s offers cellular plans are way cheaper than the leading contenders. This is Sprint’s market game, providing a cheaper service yet adding extra value on its call and text plans.
Recently, the company decided to significantly slash rates down and remove some of the Kafka-esque pricing distinctions. This was a big gamble, as Sprint laid its trump cards to win and revolutionize the cellular market industry.
What makes Sprint famous is its pricing. You can get a tier individual plan at $60 which already has unlimited talk time and text. Also, it is already on the LTE wireless network. The downside about their wireless network is it rarely breaks the 10Mbps barrier. If you are not a download junky, then this plan is perfect for playing or viewing most of the multimedia files available online. With the lower price plan, is reasonable to expect several hiccups of internet speed along the way.
3. Performance, great customer support and wide phone selection is AT&T’s forte.
AT&T offers LTE wireless network across most of its wide-ranged networks and recently, they started giving discounts to customers that will bring their own phones upon the application to their services. Their wireless is still shadowing Verizon’s fast and reliable network. However, their network speed is far better than the one of T-Mobile and Sprint, upon testing with a third party test. Their rates are often favors taking traditional handset grant that includes a stingy unlocking services that won’t free your phone until you had finished the contract.
If you don’t like Verizon or T-Mobile, than AT&T is your best choice. However, its expensive plans are not that enticing and cannot compete with the fast and reliable network of Verizon (that’s why it’s on the 3rd spot).
4. Looking for the best mobile plan for family and travel? T-Mobile will prove its worth!
This year is also golden for T-Mobile as their success is measured with the increasing number of their subscribers. T-Mobile is great for international roaming because of their external contracts, which are way cheaper than their contenders. The markdown on their price range made a huge factor considering T-mobile as the best when it comes to international roaming. They offer roaming services in Canada, Mexico and many other countries.
Subscribers can roll over their unused data from their already existing plans, which in turn reflects on their bills on the next month. Also, their subscribers have the freedom of data capping upon using most popular music and video services. On the latter part, they’ll require their subscribers to accept compressed video to further ease their worries exceeding their monthly data limit and avoid additional charges.
T-Mobile also offers a great value family-combo plans that will surely entice you to avail. These family plans will surely cater all your needs. All their contenders offer highly priced family plans that start at $8,000, while T-Mobile offers the cheapest family plan that you can avail for just $5,000, with a holding period contract of two years.
Tip: If you are living in the rural areas or near the major cities then this is not for you. T-Mobile’s network is focused on the metropolitan areas.
5. On a tight budget? Do you need a “pay-for-use” mobile plan? Problem solved with Ting!
Ting is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator which runs under its affiliate partners such as T-Mobile and Sprint, which will solely depend on the mobile network provider’s cellular signal in your area. Meaning, if T-Mobile has a stronger cellular signal and it’s way better than Sprint in your location, then your preferred network will be T-Mobile. Ting is the only mobile provider that offers a “pay for what you use” policy. If you are on a tight budget and you seldom use mobile data, this is the perfect fit for you because your monthly bill will reflect on those metrics.
Another good thing about Ting is their customer support, which is considered as top of the brass because their support team is easy to reach, knowledgeable, attentive and most often, helpful to their subscribers. This is one of the deciding factors which you cannot ignore.
Do most cellular network providers offer a Wi-Fi calling feature?
Yes, however, there are conditions on some mobile providers that should be met before doing any WiFi-Call. Also, it depends on your phone’s specifications.
What is Wi-Fi Calling?
Wi-Fi calling lets your phone call a person via a wireless access point (Wi-Fi) that has an internet connection, without using a separate app like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and other. Basically, the calls made using this method won’t add any additional charges on your upcoming mobile bill. This is convenient in areas which have a limited or a non existent network coverage areas particularly in the basement, office buildings and rural areas. This significantly increased the coverage of the cellular network provider. Also, this can help you save few bucks on your mobile plans, considering today’s numerous public hotspots. Thus, you can call your friends and love ones almost for free.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge you will need a software update, then you will have an option that will let you call on a Wi-Fi network. To activate the feature, you’ll need to turn on the advance calling option from the settings menu. Then, turn on Wi-Fi Calling after setting that up, if the cellular network is poor in a certain area “seamlessly transfer to a known Wi-Fi hotspot when available” according to information released by Verizon.
Is Wi-Fi calling legal?
Yes of course! The federal government and major Telco’s won’t let users use that feature if it’s against the law and prohibited for the general public use.
How major Telco’s define its policy on how to use Wi-Fi calling?
Last December 8, Verizon made a big announcement that they will now allow their subscribers to use the Wi-Fi calling feature. Verizon is the last of the big Telco’s that allowed this feature.
Sprint and T-Mobile offered this on their network since 2014.
AT&T added this service on their iOS products such as iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus to subscribers since this October. On the other hand, it is available on dozens of Android devices. This is also implemented on the Sprint’s network.
AT&T and Verizon made a clear policy on this feature stating that Wi-Fi calling feature will only be allowed or kicks in when the cellular network is low and will not suffice to make any calls and the user is near a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Verizon and T-Mobile promised that a call switching is possible when you are using 4G LTE network and Wi-Fi network. AT&T and Sprint don’t support such call switching feature.
Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint only allow Wi-Fi calling on US mobile numbers and international calls coming from outside US.
What to consider when choosing the right cellular network provider?
1. Quality and Coverage of network – Cellular providers aren’t covering all areas. You cannot achieve the full quality of your mobile network if you have a low signal in your area. Having high level of signal doesn’t mean that you have the best network coverage. There are other factors that you need to consider. One of this is the wireless network provider’s infrastructure, which is its capacity to handle subscribers in a certain area, grid or quadrant.
2. Service fees – Of course, we are all in favor of a service which is cheap and which provides all the features we need, right? Today, most of the mobile providers offer unlimited talk and text as default on their services. It is included in their plans to entice a subscription. To narrow this out, you will need to compare their services, choose which service is best to fit your needs and choose the service that will not put a huge hole in your pockets. An overview on their processing fees, monthly fees, over all contract price and features offered are a good way to compare and contrast.
3. Boat load of features – Yes, it’s one of the deciding factors that you will need to consider. We all want to have the best cellular plan, but with data plans things are a bit strange. “Unlimited Data” doesn’t also mean high speed. If you reach your data allowance, then they will throttle your wireless network speed. This state will slow your download speed into half or depending on the network provider’s discretion or policy.
4. Mobile Phone Selection – Chose the best mobile phone that suits your daily endeavors. Set a budget and don’t pass it. If you’re an average class guy like me, chose the phone that you need, not the phone that you want.