T-Mobile vs Verizon: Comparison

Compare Verizon & T-Mobile network coverage, plans & prices

T-Mobile Value Plan
8GB LTE Data
$20 per month
Powered by: T-Mobile

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T-Mobile Plans

vs
Verizon Value Plan
5GB LTE Data
$45 per month
Powered by: Verizon

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Verizon Plans

Cheap T-Mobile & Verizon Plans Starting at $10 - Compare Now

Verizon or T-Mobile: Which Network is Best?

Rob Webber

Rob Webber

For years, Verizon and T-Mobile USA have been at each other's throats, striving for the number one position and the attention of consumers throughout the nation.

How do you decide which network is best for you? Just as important - how do you get the best price on cell phone service on the T-Mobile and Verizon networks?

I'm going to answer both of these questions and show you the coverage maps for both carriers.

I'll also address customer service, plans and pricing, and the cheapest smartphone solutions. Stay tuned!

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Coverage & Plan Comparison 2020

T-Mobile vs Verizon
Switch & Save $600/yr - Calculate Your Savings

T-Mobile vs Verizon: MVNOs

Get Big Network Coverage Without the Big Prices

Now we're going to get down to the nuts and bolts you've been waiting for - how to save money on your cell phone service.

If you've seen ads for companies like Mint Mobile or Twigby then you already know the secret to cheap cell phone plans. These smaller mobile carriers are called MVNOs - Mobile Virtual Network Operators. They buy space on the major carriers' towers and sell it to you for an affordable price.

Let me answer your next question, which is likely to be "why would I do that instead of just paying the big guys for the same service?" There are many reasons!

Why Go With a MVNO?

  • They're cheaper than the major carriers because they don't have the expensive overhead or marketing costs.
  • They have no-contract plans and no early termination fees. Leave the carrier whenever you want (but we don't think you'll want to!).
  • It's easy to keep your phone number and device.
  • Sign-up is painless - usually completely online. Simply swap SIM cards.
  • Choose only the amount of data, minutes, and text messaging you actually need - and only pay for that.
  • Customer support is top-notch and often available seven days a week - sometimes 24 hours a day.

Alternative carriers have come a long way since they entered the market in the 1990s. They now offer competitive service on the best wireless networks at great prices.

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Price Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $600 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G LTE Data Price Annual Cost
T-Mobile T-Mobile 4G LTE Unltd* $70/mo $840/yr
Mint Mobile T-Mobile 4G LTE 8GB $20/mo $240/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GB Savings $50/mo $600/yr

Verizon vs Reach Mobile Price Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $465 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G LTE Data Price Annual Cost
Verizon Verizon 4G LTE Unltd* $80/mo $960/yr
Reach Mobile Verizon 4G LTE 5GB $45/mo $495/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GB Savings $35/mo $465/yr

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Best Prepaid Plan

Winner: Mint Mobile 3GB - $15/mo (T-Mobile Network)

Mint Mobile - 3GB Data * Pay $45 for 3 Months
Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
3 GB 4G data
Powered by: T-Mobile
Mint Mobile SIM Card
Network T-Mobile
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No - 3 mths prepaid
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls Yes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back Guarantee Yes - 7 days

Runner up: Reach Mobile 3GB - $20/mo (Verizon Network)

Reach Mobile - 3GB Data * $15 Off for 3 Months
Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
3 GB 4G data
Powered by: Verizon
Reach Mobile SIM Card
Network AT&T, Verizon
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM & CDMA
Mobile Hotspot n/a
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls n/a
Money Back Guarantee n/a

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Best Value Plan

Winner: Mint Mobile 8GB - $20/mo (T-Mobile Network)

Mint Mobile - 8GB Data * Pay $60 for 3 Months
Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
8 GB 4G data
Powered by: T-Mobile
Mint Mobile SIM Card
Network T-Mobile
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No - 3 mths prepaid
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls Yes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back Guarantee Yes - 7 days

Runner up: Reach Mobile- 5GB $30/mo (Verizon Network)

Reach Mobile - 5GB Data * $15 Off for 3 Months
Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
5 GB 4G data
Powered by: Verizon
Reach Mobile SIM Card
Network AT&T, Verizon
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM & CDMA
Mobile Hotspot n/a
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls n/a
Money Back Guarantee n/a

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Best Unlimited Data Plan

Winner: Ultra Mobile Unlimited - $49/mo (T-Mobile Network)

Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
Unlimited 4G data
Powered by: T-Mobile
Ultra Mobile SIM Card
Network T-Mobile
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No - prepaid
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls Yes - Includes 80 countries
Money Back Guarantee Yes - 10 day

Runner up: Reach Mobile Unlimited - $60/mo (Verizon Network)

Reach Mobile - Unlimited Data * $15 Off for 3 Months
Unlimited mins Unlimited texts
Unlimited 4G data
Powered by: Verizon
Reach Mobile SIM Card
Network AT&T, Verizon
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network GSM & CDMA
Mobile Hotspot n/a
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls n/a
Money Back Guarantee n/a

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Best Talk & Text Only Plan

Winner: Ting 500 Mins/1000 Texts - Free (T-Mobile Network)

Ting - 500 Mins & No Data * $20 Off for 6 Months
500 mins 1000 texts
0 GB 4G data
Powered by: SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
Network T-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed 4G LTE
3G Network CDMA & GSM
Mobile Hotspot No
Bring Your Phone Yes
Keep Your Number Yes
Contract No - prepaid
Credit Check No
Customer Service 24/7
International Calls Yes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back Guarantee No

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Network Coverage

T-Mobile Coverage Map

T-Mobile Coverage Map

Verizon Coverage Map

Verizon Coverage Map

Network Performance Comparison

Network Overall Reliability Speed Data Call
T-Mobile 86 88 88 91 84
Verizon 94 96 90 95 93

Source: Rootmetrics

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Coverage Comparison

Verizon Wireless has long enjoyed the top spot as far as coverage, reliability, and speed. The network serves nearly 99% of populated areas across the nation.

With its deployment of the LTE in Rural America Program in 2010 Big Red expanded its coverage to include many areas previously lacking a 4G LTE signal.

Verizon Coverage

Even though Verizon has the most extensive LTE network in America you'll still want to assess the Verizon coverage map to ensure that the provider has service in your area.

Weak/No Coverage Areas:

  • Non-metropolitan areas of Alaska.
  • Spots throughout the middle South and Northeast.
  • Larger areas across the western US and along the west coast.

T-Mobile Coverage

The T-Mobile network is holding its own in the wireless coverage wars. Urban reception is the network's sweet spot, and the provider has recently purchased space on a lower wireless frequency in order to expand rural reception.

As you can see on the T-Mobile coverage map below, the coverage actually looks very similar to the Verizon network, with LTE coverage in most of the same areas of the U.S.

Weak/No Coverage Areas:

  • Minimal spotty areas throughout the Northeast, South, and Midwest.
  • Larger areas of Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington.
  • Stretches of the east, west, and northwestern areas of California.

You can see in the above T-Mobile vs Verizon coverage maps that both major carriers provide towers throughout most of the nation. But what is the quality of that service?

Percentage of time with 4G LTE reception:

  • T-Mobile - 93.1%
  • Verizon - 92.7%

Average 4G download speeds:

  • T-Mobile - 19.42 Mbps
  • Verizon - 17.77 Mbps

These metrics are courtesy of OpenSignal, which crowdsources data on wireless coverage and reliability.

It may seem from these numbers that the T-Mobile LTE network is the obvious choice. It depends on whom you ask, however. RootMetrics, which creates its own data rather than crowdsourcing, rates Verizon at the top in every category.

Ultimately the decision comes down to which network offers the best reception in your area and wherever you travel to regularly, as well as the right plan costs and features.

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Starting at: $9 /mo
Tello Sprint

Smartphone Savings

Whether you choose a Verizon or a T-Mobile MVNO, you'll need something to use for all of that calling, texting, and HD video streaming.

If you're used to paying an extra $30 a month on your cell phone bill just to have the latest smartphone every year, it might be time to end that expensive cycle. Here are two great ways to do so.

1. Bring Your Own Device

MVNOs are very BYOP (bring your own phone) friendly. The iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models don't change that much from year to year. Why not save several hundred dollars by hanging onto yours a little longer?

Keeping your phone is simple:

  • Choose a carrier.
  • Check the website to make sure your device is compatible.
  • Order your activation kit and swap out the SIM cards.
  • Activate your new service according to the provider's instructions.

2. Buy a Refurbished Smartphone

Buying a refurbished cell phone just makes sense. We buy used cars in order to save money and extend the life of durable goods.

Smartphones aren't much different, plus buying used or refurbished devices saves you hundreds in the long run.

Compare Smartphone Prices

MSRP: $649 $140
Apple iPhone 7

Recap

With all of the major wireless networks so close in coverage and reliability, it's up to you to decide which one works better for you.

One thing is crystal clear, though - MVNOs give you the same quality service for much less money.

Finally, to see all the best plans side-by-side, use our comparison tool to find a cheap cell phone plan.

Calculate Your Savings

Switch & Save: $601 /yr