What Phone Company Has The Best Coverage - Are you considering switching carriers if you're considering an iPhone 14 upgrade? Given the fierce competition in the market, the major US airlines offer compelling incentives for new customers. Below we focus specifically on T-Mobile vs. Verizon, including how they compare quickly, how to find real-world coverage maps, how to try both providers with an iPhone eSIM for free right away, and more.
T-Mobile and Verizon's coverage maps look solid on their websites. Here are some tips to find out what the coverage will really be:
What Phone Company Has The Best Coverage
While Verizon was (and still is) the leader for the past decade with the most customers along with the widest coverage, T-Mobile has gained a lot of ground with its Sprint acquisition and rapid 5G deployment. That saw Verizon catch up to T-Mobile in 5G coverage as they work to roll out more mid-band spectrum.
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However, Verizon launched 5G UWB coverage in 1,700 US cities earlier this year and recently took first place for quality performance in J.D. A powerful study won.
Like coverage, a provider's speed depends on a mix of factors such as location, device, signal strength, network congestion and more.
If you live in a metro area or in a small town, speeds can vary greatly. Verizon leads the way with the fastest speeds of over 1,000 Mbps if you have 5G UWB coverage, but T-Mobile currently has greater availability with its moderately fast 5G midband.
Here's a look at how the big three carriers measure up to average US speeds in summer 2022 studies from Ookla and Opensignal:
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While trying a new provider was a hassle in the past, eSIM support in the iPhone and other smartphones has opened up a new possibility.
T-Mobile and Visible (Verizon) use the technology to allow customers to immediately test their networks alongside their existing provider for free.
With eSIM trials, you can see the signal from your current provider and the one you're trying at the same time. And you can choose to continue using your existing carrier and number for phone calls while using the mobile data trial.
This summer, Verizon introduced a cheaper unlimited plan, but it's still not as cheap as T-Mobile.
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While we've seen a small price increase from Verizon this year, tough competition has mostly kept prices tight between the two.
However, as T-Mobile advertises, it typically offers about 20% lower prices for its unlimited plans compared to Verizon. T-Mobile also includes taxes and fees in advertised prices.
Both sellers are offering (at the time of writing) up to $800 trade-in when you buy a new device. But T-Mobile is the most aggressive, charging up to $650 for early termination fees or to cover a current device.
Both also include a free streaming video service with some of the unlimited plans. And Verizon offers more than just the Disney+ package. Depending on the unlimited plan, you can get additional benefits like Apple Music, Apple Arcade and more.
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If cutting the cost of your phone bill is a priority, check out our complete guide to the best affordable iPhone plans.
We cover which of the major networks each provider uses, key features and more with plans starting at just $10 per line.
It's hard to pick a winner that's best for everyone when it comes to T-Mobile vs. Verizon. But here are some benefits to each that might help you think about your priorities:
Hopefully you now have a clear picture of how the major carriers operate, how to check actual coverage and start a free eSIM trial (T-Mobile or Verizon via Visible). Thanks for reading our T-Mobile vs Verizon guide!
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If you're wondering how AT&T compares to T-Mobile and Verizon, we have a guide that also includes this:
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Michael is an editor at . Since joining in 2016, he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews and in-depth comparisons and tutorials. Each is implementing its own 5G technology in different areas at its own pace, so the race is far from over. However, 5G coverage is not nearly as extensive as 4G LTE right now. It is mostly confined to major cities and populated areas, leaving rural communities in the dust. With that in mind, let's take a look at the best rural trucking companies available in the United States.
While Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile battle over who has the best 5G network in the US, millions of Americans are still hoping for more reliable 4G. So if you're one of the many Americans living in a rural area away from the country's major cities, here's how the top three airlines stack up.
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Fast data is great as long as you can get it, but what if you want to stay connected? In a 2019 survey, OpenSignal classified rural America into three categories: peripheral, remote, and remote — and connectivity is likely high on your priorities if you fall into one of these groups.
If you're just looking at 4G availability, Verizon is the winner. Customers in remote areas spend an average of no less than 83.5% of their time within 4G coverage, while customers in remote areas spend more than 95% of their time connected to 4G.
T-Mobile earns a silver medal with rural customers spending 77.4% to 92.3% of their time on 4G. AT&T is third with an average connection time between 75.5% and 88.8%. Sprint brought up the rear when OpenSignal did its study, even though it's now part of the T-Mobile umbrella.
OpenSignal says many rural Americans will have to wait a few more years before they see 5G connectivity. However, WhistleOut has carefully tracked the growth of 5G over the past year. T-Mobile offers the best 5G coverage, covering about 41% of the US. Verizon's low-band network (nationwide) covers about 11% of the country, and AT&T's low-band network is slightly ahead at 18%.
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All of which means you're unlikely to find low-band coverage the further you get into rural America, but T-Mobile is your best bet if you're hoping to try 5G. WhistleOut also offers a state breakdown of your best coverage options. The long table lists the best 4G and 3G coverage in each state and the coverage rate for each state. Check out the table here.
If you have specific questions about your local coverage, you can also use Signal Checker to search by zip code.
Availability is key, but what if the network is so slow you want to pull your hair out? Will Verizon keep the crown or is there room for other carriers to get back into the picture?
AT&T has the edge in terms of download speeds and latency, but T-Mobile is hot on its heels. Although Verizon is third in download speeds, it has the fastest upload speeds, followed by T-Mobile in second place. Sprint comes in last again, although it still doesn't matter because the network is gone.
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For obvious reasons, download speeds drop the farther you get from densely populated areas, but AT&T's network remained the strongest, ranging from 14.6 Mbps to 20.2 Mbps on average. T-Mobile ranged from 13.6 Mbps to 20 Mbps, Verizon from 12.3 Mbps to 19.5 Mbps, and Sprint from 9.5 Mbps to 15.1 Mbps.
Although upload speeds are important, they are not as critical as download speeds. Users will have a better everyday experience with the faster download speeds on the AT&T network. If you need faster upload speeds than download speeds, Verizon is your best bet.
The best rural transport machine is the one that best suits your needs. No carrier is perfect, but some are worse than others. You should always do your research before doing it. We'll break down the pros and cons of each of the big three, and offer some alternatives if you'd rather save some money while you're at it.
If your primary concern is the greatest 4G LTE coverage in the US, Verizon is the way to go. Even remote customers who spend more than 80% of their time on 4G service should be helped, no matter where you live.
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Of course, Verizon is the most expensive option of the Big Three, so you have to be willing to spend the money for premium service. For that extra money, you also get an Apple Music subscription, up to a year of Discovery Plus, and the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu bundle. Players can also enjoy up to 12 months of Google Play Pass or Apple Arcade. As an unfortunate reminder that you're looking for a rural carrier, Verizon's mmWave 5G
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