We crunched numbers, pored over price plans and their fine print, quizzed experts, and wrestled with complex pricing schemes to make the process as painless as possible.Unlike most of our reviews, this guide is less about picking one option than it is about helping you make your own pick.Open Signal, PCMag, and Root Metrics all publish independently sourced network-performance metrics, but those studies come at it from different angles and are good for different purposes.
Root Metrics also judged Verizon best at text performance in its past three surveys; AT&T had tied Verizon in the prior report and had won three times before then.
In addition, Verizon was the overall winner for data performance in PCMag’s 2017 “Fastest Mobile Networks” tests—although not by as wide of a margin as in that publication’s 2016, 2015, and 2014 tests.
Now that two-year contracts are a thing of the past, you have a lot more freedom to get the cell phone plan that works best for your needs.
This guide can help you figure out which network offers the best coverage where you need it and pick a plan on that network that meets your needs at the lowest total cost.
This amount of detail makes Root Metrics a great source for gauging overall performance by region.
PCMag takes a similar approach but looks more specifically at network data speed and reliability.
Given that coverage can vary from block to block or even building to building, no one can say for certain that a given network will work best for you.
Carrier coverage maps can be a good starting point if you zoom in to the street level, but they say nothing about network capacity and consistency.
As such, its data skews heavily toward densely populated, urban areas, yet in those regions it has block-by-block information.
If you live in a city, you can use Open Signal’s data to check all the spots you frequent, including your home, your workplace, and any favorite bars and restaurants.
Those crowdsourced results also show similar levels of LTE availability for Verizon and T-Mobile: 90.91 percent and 89.79 percent, respectively.