Cell phones are an important feature in our busy modern lives. We check our email, search recipes for dinner, chat with friends throughout the day and check in with family. With so many options and providers available it’s hard to choose the right plan for your family.
Phone plans really are important. You wouldn’t want to pay for features that your family isn’t using or constantly pay overage fees because your plan doesn’t allow enough coverage. Research is essential in finding your perfect plan to match your family’s phone service needs.
This article will list and analyze the top cell phone providers in the country. This way you can read, learn and make a list of pros and cons. After weighing out your list of each cell phone provider, it’ll be obvious which one is the right one for you.
Pros: Verizon Wireless has an outstanding reputation for network strength. It is actually known as America’s most reliable cellular network. Customer service is another strong point, great for unanswered questions, cell phone problems or newbies to the phone plan scene.
Cons: Compared to other providers, Verizon Wireless has high early termination fees, especially with newer modeled phones.
Verizon Wireless has become America’s favorite network and the proof is in the pudding. This phone service provider has an outstanding 92 million happily satisfied customers. Because of Verizon Wireless excellent network reliability and courteous customer service, customers are always content and suggest Verizon to others.
Pros: AT&T has great network coverage so your phone always has bars. This provider also offers the widest selection of phones available to choose from.
Cons: Although network coverage from AT&T is great, their network reliability may be spotty. So your phone will always have some signal, but not always the best one. The service provider also has not so great customer service representatives.
AT&T has a wide spread network, a great selection of phones to choose from as well as the fastest 3G data capabilities available in today’s cell phone market. Though their customer service could use some work. AT&T’s customer service has been improving over the past few years but is still left in the dust by industry leader Verizon Wireless and TMobile.
Pros: Sprint is unique in the cell phone service provider market by its specialized service plans. Sprint’s plans have just the right amount of personal touch to beat its competitors in the category of most obliging plan personalization provider.
Cons: Customer service hurts this cell phone provider as well as AT&T. Sprint has a lower customer service rating than most of its competition.
Sprint has a great variety of personalized plans to fit every lifestyle. Their recent adoption of 4G data transfer technology has also boosted their reputation for a great service plan provider. The plans are especially helpful for individuals looking for a singular plan rather than a family plan. Customer service is lacking. Sprint receives consistently poor reviews from their customer service surveys.
Pros: TMobile has great customer service as stated above in the review of AT&T. The plans pricing is also very competitive compared to the industries competitors.
Cons: 3G network coverage has always been rather unimpressive compared to other service providers.
TMobile’s plans tend to be well-rounded and affordable. Where other providers create plans with really only one asset, TMobile offers a generous variety of options compiled into one specialty plan. TMobile customers report more network failures outside of their homes than any other 3G technology provider.
Pros: Boost Mobile’s unlimited plan is one of the best plans available. The service provider offers no credit checks or contracts, great for those just starting out.
Cons: The plan is kind of expensive due to its risk in not checking credit. The cell phone model selection for this provider is limited.
Boost Mobile has one of the best unlimited plans around and for young adults with no credit built up or for those of us with poor credit, this service provider does not require a credit check or contract. Although the selection of phones is seemingly increasing, not everyone has made the switch to the prepaid cell phone option and would rather stick to the familiar contract phones.
Pros: Cell phone and cell phone plan is provided free of charge. There are also no contracts and no bills to pay each month.
Cons: Not everyone is eligible. Requirements will vary by state but generally, qualified customers receive assistance from a government program or have a monthly income below 135% of the national poverty line.
Lifeline is all about providing free reliable government phones to its customers. Lifeline is a government placed program designed to help low income families receive cell phones. These phones are funded by the Universal Service Fund. This fund collects its money from all the different telecommunication providers in the country.
Lifeline began in 1985 providing landlines to people in need. As time went on, landlines were found less and less in the modern family home. In 2005, Lifeline included cell phones into their service plan. Customers now can get free cell phones and service plans if they qualify for their state’s Lifeline requirements.
As stated above, requirements will change by state. Generally, if you receive assistance from any of these government programs or if your monthly income is below 135% of the nation’s poverty line you are eligible for help from Lifeline.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP).
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8).
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
- The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.
- Other assistance programs in your state.
Again, even if you are not receiving assistance from any of these programs, you may still be eligible for a free cell phone and service plan if your monthly income is 135% below the US poverty line.