We like to break down phone companies into three categories. You have The Big Three, Sub Carriers, and Pop Up Carriers. These are not their official titles or categories, but it is a simple way to group them.
You may find that your cell phone company is not one of The Big Three, that is okay. The end goal hear is for you to be happy with the phone plan you are paying for. What we want to show you is how all of the phone companies offer very similar plans. With their differences so small, your decision should be based on coverage and customer service.
When you think of The Big Three, think Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile. These three companies are massive and have long histories on how they developed into the corporation they are today. They have their own towers and are pioneering the way into 5G. These companies also have a pretty extensive footprint in the retail market. They have multiple store fronts in large cities and in the smaller rural towns. This is important for most people who prefer face to face interactions.
Behind The Big Three you have Sub Carriers. These are your Straight Talks, Crickets, MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Virgin Mobile.
These Sub Carriers are larger companies that either rent towers or are owned by The Big Three. For example, AT&T owns Cricket Wireless and Tmobile owns MetroPCS. Sub Carriers may even have a store fronts in your city. Again, great for the person who prefers to work with an actual human being, rather than ordering online or calling customers service. Rarely do you see one of these stores in a rural town. When customers in small towns need something as simple as a new SIM card, they often must drive miles out of the way to find a store.
Then we have our Pop-Up Carriers. Companies who almost never have a store front. Examples of these are Net10, Simple Mobile, Freedom POP, and H2O. You often find their ads on social media, and they try to grab your attention with a cheap price. They offer the lure of no contracts and flexibility when their plans are almost the same as other Prepaid wireless service. Not having a store front can be a major setback. If you need a sim card to activate a phone. You will have to request one in the mail. Nothing is immediate and their customer service is mostly robotic. Some individuals have great service with a Pop-Up Carrier and enjoy their low prices. If you are happy with the carrier you are with, we would advise you to stay with them.
What most people do not realize is that all carriers offer Prepaid Unlimited Data Plans. Including The Big Three. They average from $50 - $75 a month. Do not be deceived with the words "Unlimited Data with X amount of high speed". Companies use a legal loophole to call their plans "unlimited" but they are not unlimited. If your data speeds throttle so slow that a simple web page wont load, then you may as well not have data. An example would be a carrier offering Unlimited Data, Talk, and Text for $35. With 5gb of High-Speed LTE.
We recommend a carrier that has a store in your hometown. Even with most purchases being online. Having a store gives a personal touch and convenience for solving most issues. If you are looking for a new Prepaid cell phone plan, consider going to one of the larger companies. Their service has the best coverage and their prices are comparable to the smaller companies.
- Mobile Advisor