MW-Top-18
Mountain Wireless
Home Network ReviewsPrepaid Reviews Pros & Cons Local Reports Archives

Pros & Cons of the Cellular Carriers
What we like and don't like about these wireless carriers.


AT&T AT&T
Pros:
AT&T has a large network and covers much of the nation, usage is transparent whether on- or off-network, good digital and data services, good national plans, and they have a very good selection of phones. Improvements in coverage have been substantial in some areas, lacking in others. Excellent international roaming capabilities. Additions of multiple network purchases give AT&T substantial rural coverage improvements. AT&T now offers bundles with several different entertainment services.

Cons:
AT&T has whittled down many of their downsides including improving Data capacities. What few Con's they have remaining are somewhat minor. They include most AT&T plans aren't as generous as some, customers can only access GSM networks which are not as universally available in the US as CDMA, customer service varies from above to below average, some markets have a large number of dropped calls caused by large data users or poor coverage design. Some customers who have been transferred from other networks have noticed substantial changes in coverage, mostly while roaming. There are few rural areas where AT&T still needs to upgrade their legacy cell sites which can get congested.

CRICKET WIRELESS:
Cricket is owned by AT&T. Cricket phones in the US are limited to the AT&T network.  Otherwise, except for Cricket plans, their pros and cons are similar to AT&T.  Get a full review of Cricket Wireless at Mountain Prepaid.




METROPCS
MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile  and MetroPCS 
phones in the US are limited to the T-Mobile network.  Otherwise, except for MetroPCS plans, their pros and cons are similar to T-Mobile.Get a full review of at Mountain Prepaid.




SPRINT:
Pros:
Sprint gives you good value for your money, but is not necessarily the cheapest. Sprint covers every urban area in the US including coverage in a good number of small communities. They have local stores, good roaming capabilities, their digital and data features work very well, and they have a good selection of phones. We get the fewest complaints about data capacity issues on the Sprint network. "Unlimited" data usage is available. International Roaming capabilities have been greatly improved.

Cons:
Sprint is moving from their current cell site locations which should degrade, or at least change, coverage. You might find a weak area right where you want coverage, some of their plans are not very competitive, customer service is a notch below average, some 4G coverage uses a different frequency band than other Sprint coverage, Unlimited plans do not include unlimited usage while roaming except for "Simply Everything" plans. There are large rural areas, even entire states, with no Sprint coverage.




T-MOBILE:
Pros:
Generous plans, good urban and rural coverage, good roaming capabilities including internationally. They offer 4G - LTE coverage and competitive data pricing.  Their new "Extended" coverage has very robust coverage and is expected to get much better in rural areas. They have good customer service and a very good selection of phones. You can Bring Your Own Device and you can replace your phone as much as 3 times a year. Roaming in Mexico and Canada is available for the same rates as at home for Voice, Text & Data.  They have excellent Prepaid plans. They have expanded their spectrum allowing greater download capacity, especially in major markets.

Cons:
There are still some areas of weak coverage, but they are expanding service across more of their spectrum allocations. Some new coverage areas require a new, 4G - LTE compatible phone. There have been many rural areas with no T-Mobile coverage but not only is that expected to change soon, they cold become a rural coverage leader by using superior "low-band" coverage.  
T-Mobile plans that are offered at stores can be different than those offered online



U.S. Cellular
US CELLULAR
Pros:
Their price plans are a good value, they have very good roaming capabilities, including Data roaming. US Cellular has upgraded to 4G LTE on most of their network, including areas ignored by other carriers. They have good customer service and resolve customer problems better than most. They maintain some 'customer-friendly' features. Their Data plans don't produce overages, they just drop to 2G speeds when you have exceeded your maximum.

Cons:
While they still have a customer-friendly attitude they don't offer as many benefits as in previous years. Since US Cellular isn't national, much of their service is supplied by roaming partners, most of which have excellent coverage.  There is a limit to how much roaming data is available. Roaming outside of the US is substantially limited and, where available, is relatively expensive.



Verizon Wireless
VERIZON WIRELESS:
Pros:
Verizon has superior coverage especially in very rural and very urban areas, excellent customer service and some 'customer-friendly' policies. With such a large coverage area of their own, little roaming is necessary, and their roaming partners normally have superior coverage. They offer a large variety of phones and devices. They have excellent data service including the largest coverage of faster high-speed connections.

Cons:
Some Verizon plans are a more expensive, with odd combinations of charges for data-capable phones. Some of their data services are not available while roaming. CDMA phones roam in a limited number of foreign countries but Verizon now has phones that will roam in foreign countries. Verizon has been slow to match the competition.



Prepaid Roaming Phones
PREPAID PHONES
There are Pros and Cons of Prepaid vs. Postpaid and  among different Prepaids.  We try to explain the differences on Mountain Prepaid.
click_table.htm
Related Topics:
mw_bottom_18.htm
Mountain Wireless Resources:
Home
What's New
About Us
Site Map
Do We Get Paid for Reviews?
Privacy
Search Our Site
Are We in the Mountains?
Carrier Reviews
Carriers A-Z
Prepaid Reviews
"The Best" of Cellular
Go Totally Wireless
Carrier Pro's & Con's
Network Ratings 1 to 10
Local Reviews
Old Carriers & Name Changes
Wireless for Seniors
Mobile Site
Contact Us
Wireless Noise
Mountain Wireless Networks
Twitter