Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Downey, CA at Wirefly. Which cell phone carrier has the best coverage in your area? Click the carrier logos below to launch their coverage maps. Then, use our tool below to compare the price and features of each carrier’s plans. Smaller carriers and MVNOs typically run on the networks of one of the big four carriers you see below.
If you've lived in Downey, CA long enough, you'll remember a time where all of the major carriers had some big holes in their coverage. This made it particularly difficult to shop for a mobile service plan, especially if you lived outside the city itself. Many suburbs suffered from particularly poor coverage well into the 21st century. Thankfully, the industry has righted its coverage wrongs in the United States over the last decade. Now, coverage is roughly equal between all four of America's major wireless carriers in Downey, CA and the surrounding areas. With that in mind, what should you know before setting out for a new wireless plan or service provider? There are some tips that can make this process quite a bit easier.
Finding cell phone coverage in Downey, CA
You want a cell phone that offers you good coverage in Downey, CA, so that should be one of the top features to look for. Consider which cell phone carrier offers the best coverage in the area before making your final choice. Just because you find a plan that is cheap doesn't mean that it is good, because what good is a phone if you barely get any service where you live? However, one bright spot is the fact that almost every national carrier offers coverage for all cities in the country, so there is a really good chance your city will also be covered. Check out the carriers' coverage maps that most offer to determine if your city will be covered reliably.
Types of cell phone plans
The hallmark of a great plan is flexibility. Most cellphone users want a customizable plan that will allow them to pay for only the data they need, the texts they send and the minutes they use. All cell phone plans include some combination of talk time, texts and data. Some offer a la carte options as well.
If you're like thousands of other Americans, you rely on your cell phone for nearly all of your communication needs. This is why it is imperative to select a plan that's perfect for you and your usage needs in Downey, CA. Use Wirefly to compare a wide variety of carriers and plan types and learn how much you can expect to spend. You may even same some money over the plan you currently use. Cell phone plans generally fall into one of these three categories: individual, family and no-contract.
Individual plans have a single line item that reflects the total charges for voice, text and data for a single phone. This plan is best for single people with no children or spouse.
If you do have a family and want everyone to be on the same wireless plan, consider a family. These offer family members to have their own device and unique coverage allowances. These can be pricey, but are worth it if you have multiple phone lines. They allow families to share data, text messages and minutes. Choose a plan that can adequately meet the needs of everyone in your family.
No-contract plans give you the benefit of great coverage without the hassle of being locked in. Also known as pay-as-you-go, no-contract plans used to mean buying a pre-paid card and loading it onto your phone. Now, phones themselves are pre-paid. You can purchase a prepaid phone in most major department stores in Downey, CA. The cost of the phone covers the data, texts and minutes you use. You may be charged additional fees if you exceed your limits. Most of these phones are fairly expensive so that all your usage can be covered. You can typically find the latest smartphones in pre-paid versions.
Most phone contracts last a minimum of 24 months, but there are some you can get for just 12 months. Payment is due on a month-to-month basis, but you have to pay for the whole life of the contract. You cannot break the contract early unless you pay a hefty termination fee. This fee includes a percentage of the outstanding amount on your contract plus penalties.
Which cell phone plan should you choose?
During the process of selecting a plan, you'll need to consider the number of people who will be covered and what kinds of features they'll need to have. Most service providers divide these plan features into one of these three categories: minutes, texts, and data usage.
Inexpensive contract plans restrict the number of minutes and/or texts to around 400 or fewer. Unrestricted plans are more cost-efficient if you text or talk frequently throughout the day and can't abide any limitations. With prepaid plans, you usually fund your phone card with cash to purchase minutes, which are available per minute or in a bundle, like 500 minutes for 20 dollars. After you've used up your minutes, you must buy more.
How much data you use is an important consideration when selecting plans these days. Many Downey, CA providers charge a lot for heavy data usage, and there aren't many unlimited wireless data packages on the market. Plans are usually charged according to MB and GB usage. Sometimes, exceeding your data capacity can result in costly penalty fees. To avoid these unwanted charges, choose a data package that can handle the amount of data you use.
Finding the best cell phone plan for your needs
Now that you know which kind of cell phone plan you want, it's now time to make another important decision: what do you need each month in terms of minutes, text messages, and data? This used to be a slightly complex decision to have to make, but that is no longer the case due to changes in the wireless industry. Current cell phone plans have almost all dropped limits on calling minutes and texts messages. Postpaid family plans and individual plans at Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, all include unlimited talk and text. Only a small number of no contract prepaid plans still enforce limits.
The good news is that you can choose to look at only the amount of data that you need on a monthly basis. Two of the major carriers make this decision pretty simple, while two of the other major carriers require a bit more decision making before choosing a plan. Here's what to keep in mind when selecting a cell phone plan in Downey, CA:
Like T-Mobile, Sprint recently unveiled a flat-rate, all-unlimited mobile plan for new and existing subscribers. Customers who prefer not to get an unlimited plan can opt for a 'shared' amount of data that can be used by all lines attached to the account. By default, data speeds on limited plans slow down after all data has been used. Customers can buy a high-speed pass if they wish to have more full-speed data until the end of the month, however.
The Un-Carrier, as T-Mobile has dubbed itself, recently made a move toward unlimited data for all. The company added to its Simple Choice plan lineup with T-Mobile ONE, an unlimited, single plan for individuals or families. T-Mobile Simple Choice plans are still available for customers who prefer them, however. These plans feature data rollover and no overage charges, so there's no extra fees added to the bill based on your usage.
Verizon got rid of overages early in 2016 and started offering rollover data for its shared data plans. Verizon's plans are similar to AT&T's, however an unlimited data option is not available to new customers at all.
AT&T offers unlimited data only to customers who also have DIRECTV or AT&T Internet. Otherwise, customers have shared data plans with every line on their account. In 2016, AT&T introduced a no-overages policy that throttles data to 2G speeds when a data bucket is exhausted. The company also has its 'Stream Saver' service in 2016, which reduces the quality of all streaming video and uses data more slowly as a result.
Smaller prepaid carriers, called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), usually operate on one of the four above networks and resell services to no-commitment customers. These plans cover Downey, CA and change very frequently, but they do often represent a good savings each month.
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