The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Phone Carrier

The mobile phone market is a competitive space, with Apple, Samsung, and many others fighting for your dollars. Compared to the telecommunications war between the companies that provide service to those phones, it's a shoving match between kids on the playground.
For decades, massive conglomerates such as AT&T have been fighting with smaller yet no-less-powerful entities like Verizon and Sprint. But, within the last few years, providers that offer cheaper, more personalized services have become a hit with consumers.
So with so many different carrier options available, which one reigns supreme? Like every technology question these days, the answer isn't so simple. Keep reading to find out which carriers offer the best 5G coverage, the most affordable base service, and other key advantages.

The Best 5G Service: T-Mobile

Despite being a smaller company than AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile beats its rivals in one key area: 5G coverage.
Without getting too deep into the specifics of each company's 5G offerings, we can safely say T-Mobile's overall 5G availability is best in class. With coverage for over 308 million people, T-Mobile's network has nearly the entire country blanketed. In addition, T-Mobile’s speeds frequently increase thanks to the growing network.

The Best Overall Coverage: Verizon

These days, we take cell service for granted until we're in a secluded location and realize we don't have it. This problem is mercifully rare on the Verizon network, which covers more than 327 million people with 4G LTE service.
All of this coverage comes at a price, however. Verizon's service is typically the most expensive on average of all the major carriers. This won't be an issue for many consumers, but those on a budget may want to look elsewhere.

The Best Budget Service: Mint Mobile

Mint utilizes the T-Mobile network to provide quality service at great prices. Several different pricing plans are available, so Mint can accommodate consumers at varying price points. For example, 10GB of 5G and 4G LTE data is available for just $20 a month.
What's the catch? Providers like Mint Mobile are Mobile Virtual Network Operators, meaning they piggyback off someone else's network. In Mint's case, this means relying on T-Mobile's network for everyday operations.
Unfortunately for Mint users, when network traffic is high, their service slows down while T-Mobile customers get the best that their network has to offer. For some, however, this slower network is well worth the heavily reduced cost of a Mint Mobile plan.

The Best Phone Carrier For Unlimited Data: AT&T

Most carriers offer an unlimited data plan, but AT&T's Elite Plan is ideal when money is not a concern. Not only does the wireless giant offer unlimited 5G data, but it also delivers 4K UHD video streaming as well as a subscription to HBO Max.
A bonus of 40GB of mobile hotspot data each month makes this package attractive to those who don't mind sharing their data with a couple of roommates or family members who are too stingy to get their own plan. At $85 a month for a single user on a single line, it's a pricey proposition — but one that's too tempting to pass up for smartphone power users.

The Verdict on the Best Phone Carrier

As seen above, no one carrier stands out from the rest. On the one hand, Verizon's coverage is excellent, but it comes at a cost. On the other hand, Mint Mobile's service is cheap but can bog down during peak usage times. AT&T and T-Mobile offer solid service with some nice perks, such as expanded 5G coverage or free HBO Max.
The best carrier is the one that offers service tailored to each specific customer. Thankfully, with so many different options available, it's not difficult to find a great solution.

Pair The Perfect Phone Carrier With an Extended Warranty

No matter which phone carrier you choose, pairing your phone with an extended warranty is essential. However, warranty plans from phone providers like Verizon and T-Mobile are often expensive and overpriced. Instead, customers can save on the cost of coverage by choosing Upsie. Upsie smartphone subscription warranties cost just $9.99 per month.
Upsie’s extended phone warranty plans protect smartphones from accidental damage, early wear, screen cracks, and more. That expensive new cell phone is all but worthless if it's broken and awaiting repair. An Upsie extended phone warranty can make this process as simple and hassle-free as possible.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.