Even though it has millions of subscribers in the US, America Movil may not be recognized by wireless users. Their services are known by a number of names: TracFone, Straight Talk, Net10, Page Plus and several others. Most of these companies offer a Prepaid wireless product but all of them utilize the facilities of the other major cellular carriers as well has some regional networks. Each America Movil "carrier" offers a slightly different flavor of wireless service, some of which can be very low cost. In Puerto Rico and outside the US, America Movil is a major wireless player with their own network facilities and beneficial relationships with other communications companies and manufacturers. Get more information about their networks and products on the Mountain Prepaid America Movil Page.
Appalachian has good coverage in southeast Kentucky with additional coverage just across the adjacent Virginia and West Virgina borders, with a good selection of CDMA phones, including several smartphones, lots of iPhones, and data cards. They have a wide variety of a la carte plans that are priced above average. They charge extra for most Calling Features. Their Prepaid plans are expensive for so few features and they have misleading names: the "3G" plan is actually a "3GB" plan. It caught our eye when they claimed a "5G" plan. They have upgraded much of their network to 4G LTE. Appalachian does not allow you to Bring Your Own Phone and their Lifeline plans, which are excessively overpriced, are available for Kentucky customers only.
ARCTIC SLOPE TELEPHONE ASSOCIATION COOPERATIVE
ASTAC provides good GSM service across the northern tip of Alaska. Plans are reasonable and are available with Unlimited use based on Statewide or National coverage. They offer 4G coverage in all areas and 2G phones won't work there. Plan prices start at $15 and their Lifeline program is Free. They have a very large number of Data plans to tailor your cost to your usage. As part of the local telephone cooperative, customer service is better than average and locals are very loyal to this hometown wireless supplier, bundle discounts are available. They have a surprisingly large selection of phones including smartphones and the Apple iPhone. AT&T has invested in the ASTAC network to provide better broadband coverage to their own customers who are roaming in northern Alaska yielding benefits for local users as well.
As one of the Top 4 networks in the US, most of us know much about AT&T. They are generally considered second nationally in coverage and numbers of subscribers. In some areas AT&T has the best coverage, and in others they can be in third place. With GSM technology, AT&T roams more readily internationally, but there are areas in the US with no GSM coverage. AT&T's takeover of other cellular networks has improved their service in some areas already, including Alaska. AT&T offers a large selection of GSM phones. AT&T gets credit for competing with products and price. Most network improvements are being made in their new markets and are increasing data capacity instead of adding cell sites in older areas. They have added 4G and LTE coverage in almost all markets. AT&T in some markets is among those with the top data download speeds, but not all. AT&T has acquired wireless networks in Mexico and offer seamless, nationwide wireless service on both sides of the US/Mexico border with big benefits for traveling AT&T customers and users with family in both countries. AT&T offers Prepaid and also operates Cricket Wireless.
AT&T Pros & Cons
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BIG SKY MOBILE
Big Sky Mobile has agreed to be acquired by T-Mobile. The includes licenses and facilities. We don't know what happened to their customers, or if they have any. Nobody in Bozeman, MT has even heard of them.
Bluegrass Cellular is located in central Kentucky and is operated by a combination of 5 rural Kentucky telephone co-ops. They have a moderate selection of CDMA phones and devices including smartphones. They have very good coverage across their own network, which is mostly 4G LTE, and they offer a number of generous plans. Nationwide roaming is available. They also offer competitive Data plans for home Internet and tablets. As part of the local telephone cooperatives, they have better than average customer service. They often offer several customer appreciation benefits.
This small CDMA system serves several cities across upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. They offer a choice of Unlimited plans starting at only $18, each with several add-ons available including Data. All plans are prepaid. They offer a small number of low-end phones including a few smartphones. Coverage within their own service areas is acceptable, but driving between their separate, local service areas could incur roaming charges. Voice roaming is available nationwide but 4G - LTE Data roaming outside Blue's home area appears to be limited to the Sprint network. Customer Service and their Data capabilities are unknown as they have yet to answer when we call.
Bravado Wireless, the new name for the former Spocket Wireless, is a small CDMA carrier serving the east central part of Oklahoma just south of Tulsa. They have narrowed down the number of plans just to Unlimited Calls & Texts, with and without data, with a certain method of overage protection. Sprocket's Unlimited coverage was limited to their local area, we don't know about Bravado's, yet. They have expanded their small selection of phones to include most of the iPhone line. Coverage is adequate. They have added some 4G Data and they offer "Lifeline" plans. They also offer wireless home Internet access. Their current rating is based on the old Sprocket network performance but it may improve based on their simpler plans, wider phone selection and larger 4G-LTE coverage. Bravado is operated by the Cross Telephone Company who also offers cellular service in adjacent counties as Cross Wireless.
Serving the center of rural Utah, Breakaway is part of the local telephone cooperative, Manti Tele Communications. They offer a mix of plans that include Unlimited voice and text service on their own network in Sanpete County coupled with different levels of charges for Data. Their "home" service area includes the coverage of most of the independent wireless carriers in Utah and surrounding states and roaming outside the area is provided primarily by Sprint but is also available on other CDMA carriers. They have a small number of CDMA phones including data phones, but no iPhones, and maintain an all-3G network. They offer both contract and non-contract terms but do not allow outgoing international calls. The quality of customer service depends on when you call.
BRISTOL BAY CELLULAR
Bristol Bay covers the upper Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Plans offer Unlimited minutes but are pricey for just local coverage. They have a small selection of CDMA phones which are unlocked. While Bristol Bay sells some smartphones we do not know what broadband capabilities are available, if any. Bristol Bay customers are able to roam in Anchorage and the mainland US. You need to submit an application for service and a contract is required. We don't know if they allow roaming by other wireless customers. Lifeline plans are available. In some areas they provide the only telephone service. Bristol Bay is operated by the local telephone cooperative so they should be a bit easier to deal with, but they have shared few details with us outsiders.
Primarily offering service to people and businesses who operate in the Gulf of Mexico, Broadpoint operates a cellular network with coverage over 100,000 miles of the Gulf with voice, text and data services. They offer GSM service with nearly continuous on-water coverage along the coast and good roaming capabilities when you travel throughout the mainland US. Broadpoint is owned by Cellular One (MTPCS) which also operates cellular networks in Texas and Louisiana. Plans are expensive and they offer a moderate number of phone models for Voice, Text and Data. They offer a large number of professional data and communication services including satellite communications geared to petroleum installations. At last report broadband was offered at EDGE speeds which are normally less than 200 kb/s. 911 calls are directed to the US Coast Guard. We recommend using a T-Mobile phone if you want to use any mainland or broadband services, then Roam onto the Broadpoint Gulf network. Broadpoint operates what was formerly the Petrocom network.
CAROLINA WEST WIRELESS
Carolina West has good Local coverage in their service area of western North Carolina. They offer a variety of plans that are priced about average. Data plans are reasonably priced. They have a good selection of CDMA phones including smartphones, the iPhone, wireless home phones and air cards. Carolina West is co-owned by several local telephone cooperatives and has better than average customer service. They are also involved in their local communities. They have added 4G-LTE service to most of their coverage area and now also offer nationwide 4G-LTE roaming.
This Cellular One is made up of parts of the former Centennial Wireless in the South, and parts of AT&T and the old Cellular One in Texas. Cellular One completely shut down their Montana and Wyoming network. They have very good GSM coverage in rural areas of Louisiana and Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico. They offer all the digital goodies and have a moderate selection of older phones including smartphones, but they do not offer the Apple iPhone. Their plans are more expensive than average and, while they will sell you "4G" capable phones, we cannot determine if they offer any 4G coverage of their own. They have reasonable plans for local wireless home phone and Internet access and they support Lifeline plans.
Cellular One Coverage Maps
CELLULAR ONE OF NORTHEAST ARIZONA
Cellular One has very good coverage in and around the Native American lands along the northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico border with additional coverage in the extreme southeastern corner of Utah. Parts of their network have been upgraded to 4G - LTE and the rest operates at 3G. They have a number of special, low-cost wireless programs. They also support fixed wireless service for homes away from wirelines. They offer a number of reasonable plans with various levels of Data add-ons. They have a good selection of phone models including Smart phones and older iPhones. Their prepaid plans are only available with a few phone models but there are multiple Data and Messaging add-ons. They have a few creative programs including "Free Phone for Life" and they support Lifeline plans.
Cellcom provides very good coverage in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Their plans are unnecessarily complicated, some of them are overpriced or limited in features, or at least we think so...it's complicated. They offer a good selection of CDMA phones including smartphones, the iPhone and home phone devices. They have upgraded much of their network to 4G. Their Prepaid charges are fairly high but can include Nationwide unlimited calls and reasonable Data add-ons. Their Lifeline plans are the most expensive we've seen the country which is sad for a plan that should be Free. Their Tribal Lifeline plans includes many more minutes and features at a slightly lower price.
CHARITON VALLEY WIRELESS
Chariton serves the north central part of Missouri. They offer Local, Regional, National, Unlimited and Lifeline plans. Most plans are reasonable, especially since most features are Unlimited. Their Prepaid plans are expensive, unless you use data, and their Lifeline plans are overpriced. They have 4G LTE coverage available on their own network as well as roaming where 4G is available, mostly on Verizon Wireless. Since they are part of the local telephone cooperative we expect customer service to be better than average if you can find the right person. They have a good selection of CDMA wireless devices including smartphones, iPhones, air cards and wireless home phones. Bundle discounts depend on where you are located.
Offering service in southwest Iowa, Chat Mobility offers generous plans with everything included, however, adding Data to their plans makes them somewhat overpriced. They have a moderate selection of CDMA phones including smartphones, iPhones and air cards. Coverage is adequate and they claim all 4G-LTE coverage. Off-network roaming is seamless and is included in their regular plans. They offer "Lifeline" service (based on support programs) but they are expensive, their Prepaid plans are reasonable.
Choice serves rural and small-town customers in 9 western US states. They offer mostly National "Unlimited" plans at a fixed price, starting at $20 a month, $30 with some data included. They use CDMA phones, they have excellent coverage, and their plans have a simplified structure that includes a certain amount of US roaming minutes. They have a moderate number of phone models including Smart phones and they allow you to bring your own phone from another CDMA carrier. All plans are prepaid so there are no contracts, and they offer monthly, pay-as-you-go and pay-per-day plans, and an Unlimited Data plan. Most areas support 3G broadband and 4G-LTE in the Navajo Nation. They offer wireless Internet devices which could give you the fastest broadband service available in a rural area. Choice supports Free or low-cost LifeLine service. There is no relationship between this Choice Wireless and the Choice Wireless in northern Texas.
CLARO PUERTO RICO
Claro has very good coverage across most of the island. The network is owned by America Movil and is operated like other America Movil networks in Latin America and not like their prepaid-only services offered in mainland US. Their expanded GSM network operates mostly with 4G LTE coverage. They have a large selection of phones and also offer several other communications services. We have no reports customer service, but the owner is a large Latin America-based wireless company so they have a number of advantages over the others. Claro does not offer an English language web site.
Cleartalk, a CDMA carrier in small communities in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, has been acquired by Boost Mobile as of February 28th, 2018, which means if you have a Cleartalk phone, it will act like a Sprint phone and will use the nationwide Sprint network. It is not clear whether Cleartalk will turn off their own cell sites. Cleartalk stores become Boost Mobile stores.
COPPER VALLEY WIRELESS
Good local coverage serving Valdez, Alaska, eastward and northward. They have reasonable price plans with statewide and mainland US roaming included but they get real expensive when Data is added. They have a very small selection of CDMA phones and they offer fixed wireless service and broadband coverage. As part of the local telecommunications co-op, service is above average and bundle discounts are available. Copper Valley, in cooperation with Verizon Wireless, has upgraded most of its network to 4G LTE.
Cordova is part of the Cordova Telephone Cooperative along the coast of Alaska, south of Valdez. They have a good selection of GSM phones including Smart phones and the Apple iPhone. They have a number of reasonably-priced plans including Local, Statewide and National plans. Their Unlimited plan is overpriced. They serve some areas where there may not be any other telephone service available. They offer discount bundles with their other communications services including free cell phone service when tied to your home land line. They are upgrading their network to 4G LTE coverage which will be available for both mobile and fixed wireless services. LifeLine accounts are available for $1 per month with an activation fee of $35.
Cross Wireless is a small CDMA carrier, part of the Cross Telephone Company of eastern Oklahoma. They have Regional and National plans which are a little cheaper than average. They offer a large variety of Unlimited plans including Nationwide Data. They are adding 4G Data but they only offer a small number of phones. As part of the local telephone company their customer service is above average but don't yet offer bundles with their other communications services. . We have no coverage reports for their network. They also offer wireless broadband access for home as well as Lifeline plans with several add-on features available. Cross also offers cellular service as Sprocket Wireless in areas east of Tulsa.
C SPIRE WIRELESS
C Spire has very good coverage on their own network in Mississippi, greater Memphis, parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle. They have several plans, all of which include Unlimited Talk & Text and nationwide roaming. Some plans are very reasonable for the amount of data they include and some of their features are very creative. Users report very good coverage and like the choice of plans. They offer a good selection of CDMA phones including the iPhone, and have good customer service. Most of their network is 4G - LTE. They also offer a unique batch of consumer-oriented benefits that help integrate wireless devices, plans and features for both customers and non-customers. Even though C Spire has only about 1 million subscribers, it is among the Top 10 US wireless companies, which gives them more clout in the industry.
CTC Wireless is the cellular service provided by the Cambridge Telephone Company of Cambridge, Idaho. CTC offers their own wireless service in Cambridge and surrounding small towns, but in places like Boise, where they offer wireline service, they offer wireless only as a re-seller of Verizon Wireless. CTC offers a moderate selection of plans on their own network starting at $10. Most plans are overpriced although the Unlimited plans are reasonable. They offer a small selection of phones including a couple of Smart phones with inventory changing regularly. Customer service is adequate and Lifeline plans are available. They claim 3G coverage in most areas of their own network. Bundles are not available with their other communications services.
CUSTER TELEPHONE WIRELESS
Custer Wireless is the wireless network of the Custer Telephone Cooperative in central Idaho. Their CDMA network provides good coverage in and around their wireline service area, mostly in the Salmon River valley. Most of this area is not covered by other carriers. Most of their network has been upgraded to 4G. Plans are reasonably priced. Roaming is available on nearby local wireless networks and Verizon Wireless. They have a small selection of phones including smartphones. Customer service is very good. They offer other communications products but do not offer any bundle discounts with wireless.