Leading cellphone providers in the United States offer a variety of wireless Internet plans. With options including smartphone connectivity, USB desktop and laptop wireless modems, and mobile hot spot access in numerous places, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Cricket provide options for wireless connectivity at slower 3G and faster 4G Internet speeds.
Verizon built the first wide-area wireless broadband network in the United States, and with its unlimited data plans and extensive coverage area, continues to offer a variety of wireless broadband options. Verizon's broadband plans are compatible with its numerous smartphone choices, and the company also offers USB modems for laptops and cellular Internet for the Apple iPad.
Sprint delivers mobile broadband for its smartphones as well as dual-mode modems for computer connectivity, which offer 4G speeds in the coverage area with 3G speeds outside it. Sprint also offers a 3G mobile hot spot and a 4G desktop modem, which connects to a broadband router.
With over 20,000 free Wi-Fi access points in the United States, AT&T offers a variety of wireless Internet options, including connectivity on smartphones and tablets, prepaid data connect passes and modems at 3G and 4G speeds for home and business use. Data plans are available from 250MB to 5GB for home and laptop modems.
With an extensive coverage area in the United States, T-Mobile offers a nationwide 3G network and an expanding 4G network in major cities. T-Mobile provides wireless service compatible with its wide range of smartphones as well as a number of data plans for use with USB-powered laptop sticks -- insertable modems for laptop use -- and desktop modems.
Although Cricket's wireless coverage area is more limited than that of larger providers and its plans generally limit usage, the company offers a low-cost, contract-free alternative for wireless Internet service. Cricket offers a small selection of smartphones and USB modems for laptop and desktop computers and provides a limited network of wireless hot spots within its coverage area.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images