Wireless services are constantly attempting to lure in customers and win their hearts with aggressive marketing and incentives.
After all, these are businesses with goals of earning revenue. But between Sprint and T-Mobile, two of the four major carriers in the nation, which one takes the crown for "best wireless provider"?
This is the question that will be explored with a comparison between the providers' plans, coverage, and customer service, beginning with an overview of Sprint.
Sprint vs T-Mobile - In This Guide
Sprint (also known as Sprint Corporation) is the fourth largest network in the United States, serving some 60.2 million customers as of October 2016. Sprint happens to provide service not only through itself but through various wireless sub-branches, such as Boost Mobile (you can read more about Boost Mobile's plans here). Sprint is known to carry the latest and greatest phones from both the iPhone and Android lines.
Compared to T-Mobile, Sprint's network coverage is a tad more extensive, covering more remote areas, whereas T-Mobile doesn't cover many rural locations well (or at all). That being said, T-Mobile's network is strong in urban areas. In fact, its 4G LTE network is the fastest out of the four major carriers. Pretty impressive, in reality.
Sprint is also not exactly known for exceptional customer service. According to the Benchmarks By Company chart from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sprint's ACSI score falls 4 points below T-Mobile's score of 74. As of 2016, the American Customer Satisfaction Index score was 70, a 1.4 percent increase from the previous year.
How much will Sprint pay you to switch?
If you're considering switching to Sprint's network, you will receive the incentive of not only saving 50 percent when moving from T-Mobile's plans, but the service will also pay for your switching fees up to $650 per line (less phone trade-in credit provided), via Visa Prepaid Card post-online registration and new phone activation.
You can read our guide on Switching to Sprint here.
Contender T-Mobile provides an extensive network, but its network is better known for speed rather than for coverage. After all, its main drawback is its coverage in rural areas, which is incredibly lackluster.
T-Mobile offers a variety of plans, including a tempting unlimited plan, that proves suitable for just about everyone. T-Mobile also shines through with its unique features, such as unlimited music streaming.
Another way that T-Mobile sticks out like a sore thumb? The best customer service around. While Sprint ranks quite low on the ACSI customer satisfaction survey, T-Mobile ranks quite high. It doesn't help that the service offers a competitive loyalty program.
How much will T-Mobile you pay to switch?
Similar to Sprint's switching incentive, T-Mobile offers up to $650 or more in the payment of a prepaid MasterCard card. This is also per line! So if you're worried about your early termination fees being pinned to you or being unable to pay off your device, T-Mobile has got your back.
However, there might be some fine print exclusions to the deal. For instance, the deal only applies to lines one through 12 and excludes the iPhone 7 trade-up offer. You can learn more about switching to T-Mobile here.
Sprint vs T-Mobile Plans
Sprint and T-Mobile are often trading potent blows for the title of having the cheapest cell phone plans among the four major wireless carriers (you can learn about who actually has the cheapest cell phone plans with this guide). Both are affordable and feature an unlimited everything plan. However, Sprint is missing some features that T-Mobile attaches to its non-unlimited plans.
Sprint Cell Phone Plans
Like most carriers, Sprint's cell phone plans include unlimited talk and text, so it's best to turn your attention to the data amount. Plans range from 1GB to 40GB, which is suitable for most people.
However, if you consume data like it's water, then there is another option available. You can instead always adopt the truly unlimited plan, named Sprint Unlimited. Sprint Unlimited features unlimited talk, text, and data, all for an affordable price.
Occasionally, Sprint offers a limited-time promotion with this plan in an attempt to lure in customers to the "unlimited realm." For example, you can pay an affordable fee for two lines of Sprint Unlimited, and you'll receive the third, fourth, and fifth lines for free.
Overall, Sprint Unlimited lets you stream videos at 480p, gaming at 2Mbps, and music at 500kbps. However, if the quality doesn't satisfy you, you can always upgrade to Sprint's premium streaming package, which provides you with HD videos at up to 1080p+, HD music at up to 1.5Mbps, and gaming at up to 8Mbps.
However, if you're the "limited" type and prefer the non-unlimited data packages, you can have peace of mind with Sprint's safety measure of unlimited 2G data once the high-speed data has been exceeded, so you don't have to worry about overage charges.
T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans
T-Mobile's cell phone plans fall into the following categories: T-Mobile ONE, Prepaid Plans, and Other Plans.
The most tempting plan would have to be T-Mobile ONE, which grants the entire family with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.
However, while the T-Mobile ONE plan sounds enticing, there are a couple of important points to note. For one, on all plans, the top 3 percent of data users (those who use more than 28GB per month), will face reduced speeds until the next billing cycle during congestion. Furthermore, videos will typically stream at DVD quality on the smartphone, meaning 480p resolution.
And when it comes to tethering? We're talking Max 3G speeds. However, if you are interested in the ONE plan, you can always opt for AutoPay and save a few extra dollars per line per month.
And if you want HD video and better quality streaming (overall), you have that option with T-Mobile ONE Plus, which includes unlimited HD Day Passes. And if you want to add international perks to your plan, you can always upgrade to the T-Mobile ONE Plus International package.
Of course, if T-Mobile ONE is too pricey for you (in a lot of cases, it isn't), you could always adopt one of T-Mobile's prepaid cell phone plans or Simple Choice plans. With Simple Choice plans, you'll have access to free unlimited streaming, gain the ability to hang onto used data, receive no overage charges, and make unlimited calls and send unlimited texts to and from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Simple Choice plans range from 2GB to 10GB of data.
The individual monthly plans range in data amounts from 3GB to 10GB of 4G LTE data.
So which is the clear winner of this section, Sprint or T-Mobile? While there is something for everyone, the data amounts in T-Mobile's plans are rather mediocre in comparison to Sprint's data plans and is slightly more expensive. That being said, the 4G LTE data is faster. Due to affordability, Sprint wins, but when it comes to plan selection, T-Mobile is the victor.
Read More: You can compare prepaid plans from all carriers here.
Sprint vs T-Mobile Family Plans
When businesses consider gaining the loyalty of a customer, they should take into account the customer's family. And what better way to accomplish that than to introduce family plans?
Sprint Family Plans
Sprint now carries a set of family plans. You can always opt for the Sprint Unlimited family service, which grants everyone unlimited talk, text, and data, beginning at a small fee per month per line.
Unlimited data plans come at a discount when entering into a Sprint family plan. Even if you don't think you need unlimited data, you may very well want it if you have data hungry teenagers. Family shared data plans range from 6GB to 40GB, and you won't have to worry about overage fees.
T-Mobile Family Plans
The T-mobile family plan is an extension of T-Mobile ONE. T-Mobile can integrate additional lines to its T-Mobile ONE plan. You can add more than nine lines to the plan.
T-Mobile also offers family monthly prepaid plans, which grants multi-line discounts with family plans that begin with up to 2GB of 4G LTE data for each line. These prepaid plans come with Binge On unlimited video service and the Music Freedom unlimited music service. The first and second lines are more expensive, but each additional line after is cheap.
T-Mobile also offers Simple Choice plans, complete with unlimited music and video streaming, for families, which includes a data amount range of 2GB per line to 10GB per line, but T-Mobile ONE may be the better alternative if you want more than 2GB per line for your family.
T-Mobile vs Sprint Coverage
Without coverage, you can't make a phone call. With spotty coverage, you may face a dropped call with an important figure. So how do T-Mobile and Sprint stack up when it comes to coverage and network reliability?
Want to see how the coverage of T-Mobile and Sprint stack up against the coverage of Verizon and T-Mobile? We've got your back with "Who Has the Best Cell Phone Coverage?"
If you happen to live in an area T-Mobile covers, then consider yourself lucky. After all, you'll be able to enjoy the fastest 4G LTE speed in the nation and a rock-solid network.
That being said, if you live in or happen to venture into a remote area, then be prepared to face some abysmal coverage. T-Mobile is notorious for poor rural coverage.
Sprint originally had shoddy coverage and a slow network connection, but over the past couple of years, it has been steadily improving its service. According to CNET, Sprint has also "improved its network speeds and reliability thanks to the further deploy of 'Sprint Spark,' its name for the use of three different bands of radio airwaves for better coverage."
Sprint has since gone beyond metro areas and has been heading into smaller, more remote areas.
T-Mobile vs Sprint Customer Service
Customer service is crucial to all companies. There's nothing worse than being on hold for an hour, speaking with a customer service rep, and not having your problem resolved. With that in mind, how do T-Mobile and Sprint rank in terms of customer service?
T-Mobile Customer Service
T-Mobile manages to score the highest on most everyone's list as of late. As mentioned earlier in this article, T-Mobile's ACSI score was a 74, the highest of all the wireless carriers. T-Mobile's customer service is swift, knowledgeable, and incredibly friendly.
Furthermore, T-Mobile offers incentives and fantastic loyalty programs that offer freebies every Tuesday.
Sprint Customer Service
Sprint's customer service has always scored lower compared to its carrier brethren, but its service improving. Representatives have grown to be friendlier and more knowledgeable, going out of their way to help customers. That being said, Sprint doesn't exactly offer a loyalty program for its customers like T-Mobile.
Sprint vs T-Mobile: Which is Better?
T-Mobile and Sprint are constantly at war for the best cell phone provider crown, but T-Mobile has an edge over Sprint. It offers fantastic customer service, unique plan features such as Binge On and Music Freedom, and the fastest 4G LTE service around, despite offering poor coverage in rural areas.
However, Sprint is by no means terrible. Its coverage extends outside of metropolitan areas, provides decent customer service, and its own plans are affordable. So in the war of T-Mobile versus Sprint, it's best to go with T-Mobile, unless you happen to live in a more rural area.