top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureSurbhi Ratnawat

AT&T Wireless vs. T-Mobile: Choosing the Best Cellular Provider


AT&T Wireless vs. T-Mobile

Table of Contents



Introduction


T-Mobile and AT&T are two of the biggest cell phone companies in the US, and they offer similar deals to their customers. They have 5G coverage, unlimited data plans, and bundle deals with internet services. However, some small differences between the two companies make them stand out.


T-Mobile has a larger 5G network compared to AT&T. This means that if you live in a big city or metro area, you are more likely to get faster data speeds with T-Mobile. They also have slightly lower prices for two of their unlimited plans. However, their top-tier plans are more expensive than AT&T's.


On the other hand, AT&T has better 4G LTE coverage nationwide. This is important because even though 5G is getting much attention, 4G is still the main technology used for cellular networks.


AT&T has 68% coverage compared to T-Mobile's 62%, which can make a noticeable difference, especially when traveling through rural areas where cell coverage can be spotty.


Both offer a wide range of services and have a large customer base, but which is the best for you?


In this blog, we’ll compare AT&T and T-Mobile to help you make an informed decision.



AT&T Wireless vs. T-Mobile


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

Coverage

Extensive 4G LTE (99%)

Faster and wider 5G (93%)

5G Speed

Lagging behind

Superior in most areas

Plans & Pricing

Wider range, starting at $65/line

Simpler plans, Magenta Max best value ($85/line)

Family Plans

Multi-line discounts, potential hidden fees

Family Essentials starts at $100/4 lines

Prepaid Plans

Starts at $30/month, limited features

More data for your money

Devices

Popular brands (Apple, Samsung, Google)

Exclusive deals on OnePlus devices

Customer Service

Mixed reviews

Mixed reviews

International Roaming

Options available

Free data & texting (on some plans)

Perks

Bundled service discounts

Netflix included (on some plans), T-Mobile Tuesdays


AT&T and T-Mobile offer reliable coverage across the country, but AT&T's 4G LTE network reaches more remote areas while T-Mobile's 5G network is faster and more suitable for urban areas.


When it comes to plans and pricing, AT&T offers a variety of options but watch out for hidden fees, while T-Mobile's plans are simpler and more transparent. Both carriers offer discounts for multiple lines for family plans, but T-Mobile's Family Essentials plan may be more cost-effective.


When it comes to prepaid plans, T-Mobile often offers more data for your money. Both carriers offer a wide selection of devices, but T-Mobile has exclusive deals on certain brands.


Customer service reviews are mixed for both carriers, so it may be best to utilize online resources and self-service options.


For international options, T-Mobile may be a better choice with some plans including free data and texting in select countries.


Lastly, both carriers offer perks such as bundled discounts and weekly promotions, but T-Mobile also includes Netflix on some plans.



Family Plans & Pricing


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

Starting Price

Varies, multi-line discounts available

Family Essentials starts at $100/4 lines

Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Hotspot Data

Included, but throttling is possible

Included

International Data

Optional add-on

Free in select destinations (on some plans)

Perks

Varied based on plan

Netflix included (on some plans), T-Mobile Tuesdays


Family plans from AT&T and T-Mobile offer different options and features for multi-line discounts. AT&T offers a variety of plans with varying prices, but it is important to be aware of potential hidden fees that may come with bundled plans. The features and perks also vary depending on the chosen plan.



On the other hand, T-Mobile's Family Essentials plan starts at $100 for 4 lines and has transparent pricing. This plan includes unlimited data and hotspot data for all lines. Some plans also include free data and texting in select international destinations. Additionally, T-Mobile offers additional perks such as Netflix on some plans and weekly T-Mobile Tuesdays promotions.


AT&T offers flexibility with a range of plans and discounts, but customers should be cautious of any hidden fees. T-Mobile has a simpler pricing structure with its Family Essentials plan, which includes hotspot data and potentially free international access.


Unlimited Plans & Pricing


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

Starting Price

$65/line

$40/line (Essentials), $85/line (Magenta Max)

Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Hotspot Data

Included, but throttling is possible

Included

International Data

Optional add-on

Free in select destinations (on some plans)

Perks

Varied based on plan

Netflix included (on some plans), T-Mobile Tuesdays


AT&T and T-Mobile offer unlimited data plans, but their starting prices and features differ. AT&T's starting price is $65/line, while T-Mobile's starting price is $40/line for their Essentials plan and $85/line for their Magenta Max plan.


In terms of data, both carriers offer unlimited data, but AT&T might throttle your data if you use too much, while T-Mobile does not throttle data on any of their plans.


Hotspot data is included with both carriers, but AT&T might be subject to throttling, while T-Mobile's is not.


For international data, AT&T requires an optional add-on at an additional cost, while T-Mobile offers free data and texting in select destinations on some plans (check specific details).


As for perks, AT&T's offerings vary depending on the plan you choose, while T-Mobile offers Netflix on some plans and weekly promotions through T-Mobile Tuesdays. Overall, the better option for you will depend on your specific needs and usage. It is recommended to thoroughly research and compare the plans and features of both carriers before making a decision.



Prepaid Plans & Pricing


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

Starting Price

$30/month

Varies, often more data for your money

Data

Varies

Varies

Hotspot Data

Optional add-on

Often included

International Data

Optional add-on

Not included

Perks

None

None


AT&T and T-Mobile both offer prepaid plans that require upfront payment, giving customers the flexibility to change plans or cancel at any time. However, there are some key differences between the two providers.



AT&T's prepaid plans start at $30 per month, but this only includes basic features and limited data. Customers can add extra data and hotspot options for an additional cost. International data is not included in any of AT&T's prepaid plans, and there are no additional perks or benefits.



On the other hand, T-Mobile's prepaid plans start at a varying price point, but often offer more data for the same price compared to AT&T. Many of T-Mobile's plans also include hotspot data, making it a better option for those who need to use their phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. However, like AT&T, T-Mobile does not include international data in their prepaid plans and there are no additional perks or benefits.


AT&T's prepaid plans may be a cheaper option initially, but customers may end up paying more for data and features if they need to add them on. T-Mobile's plans may cost more upfront, but they often offer more data and include hotspot options, making it a better value for customers in the long run.



Devices: Reaching for the Latest Tech


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

Brand Selection

Popular brands (Apple, Samsung, Google)

Popular brands + exclusive deals on OnePlus devices

Device Financing

Yes

Yes


When it comes to choosing a new wireless device, it's important to consider not only the brand but also the carrier you'll be using. AT&T and T-Mobile are two popular options, and both offer a wide selection of top brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google.


However, T-Mobile also has exclusive deals on OnePlus devices, giving you a unique choice if you're a fan of that brand.


Additionally, both AT&T and T-Mobile offer device financing options, allowing you to spread the cost of your new phone over time. This can be a helpful option if you want a high-end phone but don't want to pay the full price upfront.


Ultimately, the choice between AT&T and T-Mobile will depend on your personal preferences and needs, but both carriers offer a strong selection of devices to choose from.



5G Availability: Speed Your Way to the Top


Feature

AT&T

T-Mobile

5G Coverage

70% of population (slower speeds)

93% of population (faster speeds)

Recommended Usage

In rural areas, frequent travelers

In urban areas, high-speed data needs


AT&T offers 5G coverage to 70% of the population, but the speeds are slower in these areas. This makes it a suitable option for those living in rural areas or who frequently travel and need basic 5G coverage.


On the other hand, T-Mobile covers 93% of the population with 5G and offers significantly faster speeds, making it ideal for those living in urban areas where faster download speeds and lag-free streaming are important.


Ultimately, the best choice for 5G availability depends on individual needs and location.


Conclusion


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile, both are great options with similar offerings. However, T-Mobile edges out AT&T with its larger data allowances, faster 5G network, and more affordable prepaid options. Whether you're looking for a family plan or a budget-friendly option, T-Mobile has something for everyone.


Therefore, if you're looking for a reliable and cost-effective cellular provider, T-Mobile may be the better choice for you.


FAQs


Q1. Is T-Mobile's 5G truly faster than AT&T's?


It depends on several factors such as location, network coverage, and device compatibility.


Generally, T-Mobile's 5G network has been shown to have faster speeds compared to AT&T's 5G network.


However, this may not be the case in all areas and for all devices. It is recommended to check coverage maps and conduct speed tests in your specific location to determine which network is faster for you.


Q2. What are the hidden costs to consider when choosing a prepaid plan with each carrier?


Activation fees: Many carriers charge an activation fee when setting up a new prepaid plan. This fee can range from $10 to $30 and is often non-refundable.


SIM card costs: To use a prepaid plan, you may need to purchase a SIM card from the carrier. These can cost anywhere from $5 to $20.


Monthly fees: While prepaid plans are known for their flexibility and lack of contracts, some carriers do charge a monthly fee for their service. This fee can vary depending on the carrier and the plan you choose.


Data charges: If your prepaid plan includes data usage, you may need to pay additional charges for exceeding your allotted amount. Some carriers also charge for data overages on a per-megabyte basis.


Roaming charges: If you plan on using your prepaid phone while traveling, be aware that roaming charges may apply. These charges can quickly add up, especially for international travel.


Taxes and surcharges: In addition to the advertised price of a prepaid plan, there may be additional taxes and surcharges added to your bill. These can vary depending on your location and can significantly increase the overall cost of your plan.


Phone costs: If you need to purchase a new phone to use with your prepaid plan, this can be a significant additional cost. Some carriers offer discounted or refurbished phones for their prepaid plans, but others may require you to pay the full retail price.


Additional features: Many prepaid plans offer basic services such as calling and texting, but if you want additional features like international calling or mobile hotspot capabilities, you may need to pay extra.


Early termination fees: While prepaid plans do not typically have long-term contracts, some carriers may still charge an early termination fee if you decide to switch to a different plan or carrier.


Customer service fees: Some carriers may charge a fee for customer service calls or for making changes to your plan, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.


9 views0 comments

Comentarios


bottom of page