Your current cell phone plan works well, but you have to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. Or maybe your smartphone is just not as attractive as it used to be, and you want to jump ship to a new carrier with a phone promotion. Knowing what each major cell phone carrier has to offer lets you know whether you’re better off staying with what you’ve got, or if you’re being ripped off horribly.
AT&T’s wireless service has plans for smartphones, tablets, basic phones and prepaid phones. The smartphone plans are split between individual, family and mobile share plans. Basic plan pricing ranges from $39.99 a month up to $69.99 a month. Data plans range from $20 a month up to $50 a month. The family plan caps out at $119 per month. It’s $20 for a laptop or hotspot device addition and $10 for a tablet.
T-Mobile offers individual and family plans. Unlimited talk, text and 500 MB of data starts at $50 a month. Unlimited data takes that price up to $70 a month. The most expensive of the T-Mobile cell phone plans is the family plan, which will run you $210 for five phones. T-Mobile supports the iPhone 5, the Blackberry Z10, The Samsung Galaxy S 3 and the 4G LTE HTC One. If you use a data plan that is not unlimited, the speeds are slowed down on the 4G network once you hit 2 GB of data transfer.
Verizon Wireless is one of the big name wireless service providers, and they have both unlimited plans and prepaid plans. The basic pricing for unlimited starts at $30 a month for basic phones and $40 a month for smartphones. The more data you add to your plan, the higher the price goes — with a max of $100 a month. The prepaid plans give you pay as you go, basic monthly plans and smartphone plans. Verizon’s smartphone selection includes the Samsung Galaxy S4, Droid Razr HD, the LG Lucid 2 and the Apple iPhone 5, among many others.
Jitterbug is a no contract phone service that keeps things simple. They offer smartphones as well, but the main phone they push is a basic cell phone — although they also have an Android smartphone version for people who like more advanced technology. The Jitterbug service starts at 14.99 and goes up to $79.99 a month. Outside of the Jitterbug branded phones, the only phone they offer is a basic T9 Samsung cell phone.
Boost Mobile is a no-contract, pre-paid cell phone provider that offers a variety of devices. It’s also notable for charges that reduce over time as you pay on time. It shrinks down from $50 to $35 a month as you stick with the service. The main plan that Boost Mobile offers is the $50 unlimited plan, which gives you nationwide talk, text and Internet. The Internet is capped at 2.5G per month on the 4G network. You can also add in international calling and phone insurance. There’s also a basic talk and text plan at $45 a month, an Android device plan at $55 and a Blackberry plan at $60. You can also pay for daily usage at $2 per day. Boost Mobile uses the Sprint network.