When choosing a wireless carrier, all the latest bell and whistles on that cool new smartphone do not mean much if the wireless coverage is subpar. At the same time, wireless carriers are constantly battling for the title of "most comprehensive coverage map." Two of the most competitive wireless carriers are Verizon and Sprint.
With their national coverage maps, Verizon shows more comprehensive coverage while Sprint shows many more roaming areas, particularly in the northwest part of the country. The coverage is there, however; when looking at Verizon's map, it appears there is more comprehensive coverage, but the non-coverage areas have no cell service at all, instead of roaming.
Both Verizon and Sprint boast online search engines that allow you to research roaming rates by country. Using India as an example, Verizon has the lower roaming rate of $1.99 per minute as of the time of publication, while Sprint's is $2.49 per minute. At the same time, it appears Sprint's country list is a bit more comprehensive at this time; Verizon doesn't include Italy on its list, while Sprint does.
Internet and Downloading
Both Sprint and Verizon boast "4G" coverage networks that allow super-fast Internet access and downloading capability. Verizon, however, has the larger coverage availability: its 4GLTE network is available in 55 regions and 70 airports. Sprint's 4G network is available in more than 70 major cities. Usage is unlimited, however. With Verizon, there are download limits based upon a range of access fees.
If your phone can't get service, you want to be able to troubleshoot the problem quickly and efficiently once you're in range. Verizon will often automatically "reset" your phone and walk you through a couple of quick extra steps -- usually involving turning your phone off and on -- to ensure it's picking up a signal from the nearest possible tower. Sprint, on the other hand, is still working on its customer service support.
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