With new mobile technology and phone service providers emerging regularly, it is sometimes difficult to choose which provider is right for your needs, budget and lifestyle. As the top providers in the United States, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile compete to help consumers take advantage of improving services and new technological advances.
While the largest cell phone companies all provide coverage to the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, international coverage varies. In addition to international voice and data coverage plans, AT&T features international roaming that gives customers service in more than 200 countries and over 100 cruise ships. Verizon Wireless users can find service on cruise ships and in more than 40 countries and U.S. territories for additional international roaming fees. T-Mobile provides coverage to 96 percent of the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. T-Mobile also offers international roaming, as well as international talk and text plans connect consumers to over 50 countries. Sprint offers discount cards for international calls but international roaming is only available in 24 countries.
With an estimated 5 billion people using cell phones worldwide, it is safe to say that the cell phone is an integral part of modern society. In the U.S. alone, more than 300 million people own and use cell phones. Boasting 104 million subscribers, Verizon Wireless is the largest cell phone service provider in the U.S., overtaking AT&T Mobility, which provides service to 97.5 million users. Although they do not have as many customers as Verizon and AT&T, Sprint Nextel provides cell phone service to 51 million Americans, while T-Mobile serves more than 33 million users in the U.S. and 150 million subscribers worldwide.
The Facts: Verizon Wireless and AT&T
In addition to having America’s largest 3G network, Verizon Wireless offers numerous features including national wireless broadband, plans that include unlimited calling to anyone in the network, unlimited calling to out-of-network customers, unlimited night and weekend minutes, nationwide picture and text messaging capabilities and a variety of voice and data plans for individuals, families and prepaid customers. In addition to having the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, AT&T offers customers free unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling within the network, a rollover minutes policy that allows consumers to keep unused minutes up to one year, an A-list which allows for unlimited calling to out-of-network customers in the U.S. and a variety of plans that help to eliminate long distance and roaming charges.
The Facts: Sprint and T-Mobile
Besides being the only other U.S. provider than Verizon Wireless to use CDMA technology, Sprint customers can count on reliable 3G network service, exclusive applications, a number of messaging options including text, picture, video and IM, GPS navigation options and a number of affordable plans such as the Any Mobile, Anytime plan that features unlimited domestic calls to and from mobile phones on any network and unlimited data and messaging. As America’s largest 4G network, T-Mobile users experience fast applications and downloads and services including Internet and email, Web Guard, which filters and blocks adult content, name identificiation on unknown numbers, messaging options such as voicemail to text, picture, video and international text and customized plans for individuals and families.
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