If you’re planning to switch to a cheaper cell phone plan, you can avoid dropped calls and slow data by finding a wireless provider with great network coverage where you live, work and travel.
The Big 4 wireless networks in the United States are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Which is best for you?
Coverage maps: How to find the best wireless network for you
The independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics by IHS Markit says Verizon’s performance on the national stage remains outstanding, followed by AT&T.
RootMetrics reports that third-place T-Mobile performs better in metropolitan markets than at the state or national level.
RootScore Overall Performance – 2nd Half of 2018
|Source: RootMetrics, February 2019|
Smaller carriers called mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) rely on one or more of the Big 4 networks and provide similar coverage — often at a much cheaper price.
To find the best wireless network for you, follow these three steps:
- Review coverage maps: Use the coverage maps for the Big 4 wireless networks as a starting point; see coverage maps for MVNOs on their websites
- Confirm coverage: Enter your zip code or address on a carrier’s website to view voice and data coverage
- Get recommendations: Ask your family, friends and neighbors about their cell phone coverage; solicit feedback using Facebook or Nextdoor apps
Here are the coverage maps for the Big 4 wireless networks and links to coverage maps for many low-cost cell phone carriers, all of which you can learn more about in Clark’s cell phone guide!
Coverage maps for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and low-cost cell phone providers
Verizon MVNO coverage maps:
- Visible coverage map
- Total Wireless coverage map (Read our review)
- Xfinity Mobile coverage map (Read our review)
- Spectrum Mobile coverage map
AT&T MVNO coverage maps:
- Cricket Wireless coverage map (Read our review)
- Unreal Mobile coverage map
- h2o Wireless coverage map
- FreeUP Mobile coverage map
- Consumer Cellular coverage map
T-Mobile MVNO coverage maps:
- Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) coverage map
- Mint Mobile coverage map (Read our review)
- Republic Wireless coverage map
- Simple Mobile coverage map (Read our review)
Sprint MVNO coverage maps:
Coverage maps for other wireless providers
- Google Fi coverage map
- TracFone coverage map
- Straight Talk coverage map
- Net10 Wireless coverage map
- Red Pocket Mobile coverage map