Finding the right coverage and service provider for your phone can be challenging. Every company seems to say that their coverage is the best while offering the lowest rates, so it’s easy to get lost in all the marketing. The truth is there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a cell carrier, but a lot of it can boil down to personal preference or location. Today, Sure Call Boosters is here to help explain some of the basics and help you make an informed decision that works best for you.
The Big Three
The first thing to get out of the way is that—whether you live in the United States or Canada—you’re likely going to partner with one of "The Big Three." In the United States, that means Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T, which typically offer the widest nationwide coverage. Here in Canada, you’re likely familiar with our own big three: Telus, Rogers, and Bell.
The main advantage of The Big Three is that they offer the widest nationwide coverage and are almost always a reliable choice, albeit a potentially more expensive one. In both the United States and Canada, you can choose a plan directly with one of The Big Three or one of their flanker networks. Flanker networks are generally more affordable and have the same coverage as their parent company but may not offer unlimited data or other bonuses that come with the parent company.
In the United States, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have flanker brands called Visible, Metro, and Cricket Wireless, respectively. Canada’s big three—Rogers, Telus, and Bell—have Fido, Koodo Mobile, and Virgin Mobile, respectively.
There’s nothing wrong with signing a contract with one of The Big Three or their flanker brands because they do offer reliable coverage. But being aware of them is an important factor to consider when making your final choice. You may still find another coverage option that doesn’t fall under one of The Big Three, and that’s alright.
Customer service is always an essential factor to consider. Naturally, if you choose to sign with one of The Big Three, you’re dealing with a large corporation, so you want to ensure you can still get reliable customer service. Does your service provider have an easy-to-access online chat option? Can you call them by phone and speak with a customer service representative without waiting on hold for an hour?
Unfortunately, many of these answers come from direct experience, and you may discover that your first choice doesn’t offer great service. Try to get in touch with some of your top choices before signing with them and get a feel for how they interact with their customers.
While partnering with any of The Big Three or their flanker brands means you’re likely to get fast, reliable connections, you should still check their coverage map for your area. For example, while Telus, Rogers, and Bell cover nearly all of Canada, Rogers does fall behind in covering some of the more rural areas of the country. Depending on where you live or travel to, you want to ensure your area falls under the coverage map so you’re covered as much as possible.
If you do decide to sign with a service provider that’s not one of The Big Three, you must check their coverage map before making any big decisions. Smaller companies often have trouble covering rural areas. Even in crowded urban areas, you may struggle to get a signal due to physical obstructions and an influx of people trying to use the same signal at once.
Something else to consider when choosing a cell carrier is what type of plans they offer. Many individuals just need a single line, and most companies will offer something like that. Certain companies may have an affordable one-line package, while others may try to convince you to get multiple lines. If you have family, friends, or a significant other, you may save some money by bundling two or more lines on the same plan, so that’s something to consider.
The ideal outcome for any possible cell phone plan is to have it come with unlimited talk, text, and data. When you pay a flat fee for unlimited data, you can use your phone as much as you need without worrying about additional charges or going over your monthly limit.
However, not everybody uses their phone that much. Unlimited data is nice, which is why many companies try to advertise it as an option. However, you may notice most of their commercials say that unlimited plans start at a certain price point that doesn’t end up being accurate.
If you don’t use your phone all that often and don’t need a lot of data, you can get a plan that caps at around eight or 15 gigabytes. Then, if you need more data, you could pay to go over your monthly limit. Ultimately, a data cap may save you some money over an unlimited plan if you use your phone fairly infrequently.
Some cellular companies will try to entice you to sign with them by partnering with other companies and offering some sort of incentive. For example, many companies will provide you with a brand-new phone if you sign a new contract with them. Similarly, they might make it so your new contract comes with a free year of a certain streaming service. There are many factors to consider when choosing a service provider, and sometimes those free goodies can be the deciding factor.
Picking your service provider isn’t a decision that you should make lightly. You typically sign up for at least a one-year contract, so you want to ensure you choose a provider that offers all the coverage and services you need.
If you need help boosting your signal at your home or office, Sure Call Boosters has a wide range of cell signal boosters that help you stay connected no matter who your provider is. For more details, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us anytime via email at email@example.com.