AT&T vs Sprint

Sprint or AT&T: Which is Better?

Sprint vs AT&T

People are constantly battered with television commercials and advertisements of the rivalries between the major cell phone carriers in the United States. With so many factors to contend with such as cost, coverage, customer service, and plan offerings, it can be difficult to determine which cell phone plan is right for you.

AT&T vs Sprint

I have evaluated the different aspects of Sprint and AT&T's cell phone plans to help you measure who is the victor. Let's begin with an overview of AT&T.

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AT&T vs Sprint

AT&T Overview

AT&T is known to have the second-largest customer base in the nation. The wireless service boasts a whopping 131.8 million subscribers as of the second quarter of 2016 (Strategy Analytics).

AT&T features a strong, reliable network, which is 50 percent faster than 4G LTE2. You can even use the latest smartphones with this network. AT&T also offers shareable plans and an unlimited plan, but the unlimited plan comes with strings attached.

According to the benchmarks by company chart by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, AT&T's customer service score stands at 71. This is one point above Sprint's customer service, which is the lowest score among the four major carriers.

How much will AT&T pay to switch?

AT&T will send you up to $650 per line via an AT&T Promotion Visa prepaid debit card.

The value of this particular card will be determined by the amount of your Early Termination Fee of the previous carrier or the device payment plan balance at the time of your termination with the service.

To obtain this card, you need to purchase a new smartphone on AT&T Next, a service that provides you with a phone with no money down, and activate a new line. Post-activation, you can then port your number to AT&T, trade in your old smartphone, and then send AT&T your old carrier's final bill.

Sprint Overview

Out of the four major wireless providers, Sprint is the fourth largest carrier, serving 60.2 million customers as of October 2016.

Like AT&T, Sprint offers the latest and most popular phones, as well as quality plans to complement. However, while Sprint's plans are affordable, the service isn't as strong as AT&T. Sprint's plans are considered more affordable compared to AT&T, and the service also boasts an unlimited plan that rivals T-Mobile's ONE plan.

Unfortunately, Sprint's customer service rating is among the lowest of the four providers. Fortunately, Sprint's ACSI score is 70, which is only one point below AT&T.

sprint cell phone overview

AT&T vs Sprint Plans

Both AT&T and Sprint offer various plans that are suitable for everyone. However, which provider stands out in the case of "Sprint vs AT&T plans"? Which offers greater features? More affordable plans?

AT&T Cell Phone Plans

AT&T cell phone plans offer what is known as "Mobile Share Advantage" packages. These are considered the main packages, which come attached with features such as no overage fees (once high-speed data has been exceeded) and shareable data.

Mobile Share Advantage plans range from 1GB of data to 100GB of data, which can be shared among family members.

Furthermore, AT&T offers a prepaid service, known as GoPhone. GoPhone plans range from no data to 8GB of high-speed data. Additionally, you can purchase plans by the minute or by the data, which is quite unique to the carrier.

AT&T offers one other type of plan, known as AT&T Unlimited. AT&T Unlimited grants the customer with unlimited high-speed data, talk, and text, but there's a drawback - you must have DirecTV or a U-verse TV package. The unlimited plan isn't included for free either but is instead rather pricey. With the unlimited plan, you may face slow data speeds after 22GB of data usage.

Sprint Cell Phone Plans

Sprint's cell phone plans range from 1GB to 40GB of data, which is suitable for most people. However, the single lines are most affordable, though they are limited to 1GB and 3GB respectively. Any data above those numbers belongs to the family shared data plans.

Similar to AT&T, Sprint also charges no overage fees once you exceed your data amount. Instead, your data will slow down once your high-speed data amounts are exceeded.

In the case that you somehow need more than 40GB of data, you can adopt the Sprint Unlimited plan. Sometimes promotions may be attached to this plan. For example, you can receive two lines of unlimited data, talk, and text for a good deal, with the third, fourth, and fifth lines being added for free.

Furthermore, the basic Sprint Unlimited package lets you stream videos at up to 480p+ resolution, gaming at up to 2Mbps, and music at up to 500kbps. You can, however, always upgrade to the premium streaming package, which allows you to stream videos at up to 1080p+, music at up to 1.5Mbps, and gaming at up to 8Mbps.

Overall, which comes out on top in terms of plans: AT&T or Sprint? While both carry nifty features, Sprint is far more affordable compared to AT&T, and it features an unlimited cell phone plan with no strings attached.

Sprint vs AT&T Family Plans

Sprint or AT&T: which provider offers better family cell phone plans? After all, families need to stick together, and if a provider offers affordable family plans, you should consider that provider, as family plans are often fantastic in value.

Sprint Family Plans

As mentioned in the previous section, Sprint has decided to split the amounts of data it offers into two categories: family and single. Family shared data plans range in data amounts from 6GB to 40GB. These plans can have up to 10 lines attached.

AT&T Family Plans

Similar to Sprint, you can add lines to AT&T's plans for a certain fee, though the fee is dependent on the device. If you're not a fan of Mobile Share Advantage, you can always opt for the prepaid plans, which feature the Multi-Line Discount. For instance, the second device will save you a few dollars, but the third device will save you a little more, and so on and so forth.

Furthermore, you can add lines to the unlimited plan too, but again, you need to have DirecTV or U-verse to be eligible for the plan.

For the best value (especially if you don't care to own cable TV), you should consider Sprint's family plans. They are, overall, far more affordable compared to AT&T's family options.

AT&T vs Sprint Coverage

To a customer and a wireless carrier, coverage is essential for a phone. Without coverage, you cannot make a call or connect to a website. That can prove to be a problem if you're in the middle of nowhere, looking for a tow truck to call because your car breaks down. Let's take a look at which competitor has the best coverage.

AT&T Coverage

AT&T's network solid, boasting the second-best coverage in the United States. After all, the service reaches hundreds of millions of people every day. While the network is speedy, it is not as fast as T-Mobile's network but is still above Sprint.

Sprint Coverage

Sprint doesn't have as vast of coverage as AT&T, but the network reliability, according to recent data from Nielsen (and as flaunted on commercials), is within one percent of Verizon. Despite this, people have encountered incredibly spotty LTE coverage.

In the bout of coverage, who wins? I would have to give the point to AT&T.

AT&T vs Sprint Customer Service

According to a blog entry from Client Heartbeat: "In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers; customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator. Businesses who succeed in those cut-throat environments are the ones that make customer satisfaction a key element of their business strategy."

Yes, customer service makes all the difference in the world. One bad experience can force a customer into the arms of another provider. So who has the better customer service: AT&T or Sprint?

AT&T Customer Service

AT&T's ACSI score of 71 is just a point above Sprint. Overall, the service is great, offering help when customers need it, in the forms of FAQ, community forum, telephone, chatbox, and more. After all, who wants to lose a customer? Furthermore, AT&T offers a loyalty program that allows you to save money on products like tickets and allows you to reach the front of the line.

Sprint Customer Service

Sprint was previously known as the worst in customer service among the four carriers, with many criticisms thrown toward the provider's value and 4G reliability. That being said, the service has since improved vastly, including the customer service. Representatives have been armed with the knowledge of Sprint's services, ready to help out customers in a variety of methods, including FAQs, phone, social media, chat, and community forums.

Due to the ACSI score and the fact that Sprint doesn't exactly have a loyalty program, AT&T has edged beyond the provider, claiming the crown for "better customer service."

Which is Better: Sprint or AT&T?

Both are good, solid services to consider joining. However, Sprint is far more affordable for both families and individual users, going so far as to offer an unlimited plan with no strings attached. That being said, AT&T's coverage is greater and features better customer service. It's a tough call when it comes to selecting between two of the best cell phone plans, but if you want more affordable plans, it's best to go with Sprint, but in terms of coverage of customer service, you're better off with AT&T.

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