Find and compare the best cell phone plans in San Mateo, 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.
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Choosing the best cell phone plan in San Mateo, CA
If you've lived in San Mateo, 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 San Mateo, 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.
Coverage is king, and San Mateo, CA is covered well by all
Let's face it: Even at the best price, or with the best features, there's no reason to choose a wireless carrier that doesn't cover your home and place of work in San Mateo, CA. Luckily, the city has become a hub of lightning-fast LTE coverage on all major carriers in the past several years. While AT&T and Verizon have long had dense, fast LTE networks in San Mateo, CA, carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint traditionally lagged behind in terms of coverage, LTE technology, and overall speed. Not anymore.
Now, all four major carriers have the city and its entire suburban area covered with fast LTE technology. In fact, all four carriers score within just a few points of each other in RootMetrics tests of speed, call quality, text message delivery rates, and breadth of coverage, in San Mateo, CA. This means that you now have more options, more features, and more price points available than ever before. There is no need to compromise on any one metric.
Kinds of cell phone plans
Most San Mateo, CA residents desire cell phone service that gives them all the minutes they want, all the texting they care for, and lets them freely use data. Deciding on a wireless plan is determined by several aspects such as data limitations, available minutes, and texting restrictions.
When you rely on a cellular phone for the majority of your exchanges, it's very reassuring to have a mobile package that accommodates you fully. You can research various companies and plans on this site to determine the amount of money you can save if you already have a cellular plan. The three types of mobile plans are: individual plans, family plans, and prepaid plans.
With an individual plan, you have a single line with a single rate for talking, texting, and data sharing. It doesn't come with any other lines or hardware. If you are a single adult, then a personal cell phone plan could be your smartest option.
Family plans allow you to have a wireless line for every one of your family members. Although family plans cost more, they're still your best option if you require multiple lines. Their prices are cheaper compared to having multiple personal plans also. Family plans usually split texts, minutes, and data usage between members, so you'll want to find a plan that's large enough to accommodate your whole family's requirements.
Prepaid or pay-per-use plans are versatile with regard to their price structures. Pay-per-use service has improved considerably since prepaid mobile phone cards first arrived on the scene. It's easy to buy a no-contract phone at your favorite shopping center in San Mateo, CA and begin using it immediately. You pay just for how much you use it, but there may be extra charges. Additionally, phone costs are often more expensive unless you choose a very basic or inexpensive phone. A lot of prepaid mobile phone plans provide the most recent and cutting-edge smartphones also. Best of all, you aren't obligated to adhere to a contract.
With most contract plans, you'll have to be enrolled for at least two years, although a few service providers have one-year packages available. There is a fee you must pay every month, but you're required to keep on paying until the contract expires. If you decide to terminate it, you will be assessed an early cancellation charge, which means that any time remaining on your term will be added to the charge as a ratio along with an additional penalty.
Cell phone plans in San Mateo, CA are better than ever
Increased competition among American wireless companies means prices have dropped for buyers. In 2016, the price for a GB of data declined by a lot, and unlimited data plans made a significant comeback at major carriers and MVNOs alike. Now that coverage is relatively equal throughout the San Mateo, CA area, you can buy cell service in entirely new ways, including by price, features, data amounts, or the availability of totally unlimited service.
When looking for a new cell phone plan, make sure you understand the terms and conditions associated with the plan, including promotional terms, billing credits, device financing restrictions, and other terms that may be in place. While these restrictions are uncommon, it's always better to understand their impact before you make a final decision.
Different carriers to choose from in San Mateo, CA
You can choose from many different carriers when you live in San Mateo, CA, as they all offer coverage in this area. Lesser known carriers, or MVNOs, still operate under a main carrier network, so it is still a good chance your city is covered by them.
AT&T has a number of plan types available with their company. Their plans include contract, family, individual and pay-as-you-go.
Sprint is one of the few wireless companies that offers unlimited 4G LTE data and is a good choice when you don't want to worry about overages. They also offer a new option called the Better Choice Plan.
Verizon is one of the leading cell phone carriers that offer individual, family and no contract cell phone plans. Shared plans can include unlimited texting and talk, along with different amounts of data coverage.
The “uncarrier”, as T-Mobile is known, offers plans that do not require a contract ever. T-Mobile sells family plans as well as individual ones, and T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice are two plans that give consumers unlimited data, talk and text for one price.
Our tools here on Wirefly will help you find the best cell phone plan for you and your family. Compare rates and find the best coverage when you live in the San Mateo, CA area today.
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