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
For 2018, the independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics by IHS Markit says Verizon’s performance on the national stage remains outstanding, followed closely 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 – 1st Half of 2018
|Source: RootMetrics, July 2018|
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
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
- 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