Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Watsonville, 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 cell phone plan that's best for Watsonville, CA
There are a multitude of cell phone plans available to everyone nowadays, as well as the different wireless carriers who provide them. Figuring out which one is best for yourself or your family can be difficult, but not impossible if you know what you are looking for going in. You need to know exactly what you need in a phone before you sign up for a plan, especially if you are signing a one or two-year contract. While many plans are very similar, a few differences can make the difference between saving money and wasting it. You may be paying more for one feature with one carrier that is exactly the same with another when you don't need to. Use Wirefly to view and compare all the different rates and plans that are available from different carriers. We are here to make sure you don't find yourself trapped in a one to two-year plan that isn't satisfactory.
Coverage is still king: a few things to keep in mind
Coverage has gotten dramatically better for all carriers in the last few years, especially for Sprint and T-Mobile. While the country's two smallest carriers often had their coverage compared to Swiss cheese in the early 2000s, their LTE networks today are fully modernized, dense, and ready to perform well even during times of peak demand. With that said, it's a good idea to take a look at independent test results that show the strengths of each network. These tests, performed by RootMetrics, will help clarify which carrier is best for clear calls, fast data, or consistent texting.
Best for Calls: For the third time in two years, RootMetrics testing found that all four major carriers are almost the same in Watsonville, CA when it comes to 'call performance.' This indicates that all four carriers have crystal clear calls, and that all four carriers rarely drop a call that has been initiated. That's great news if your main area of usage each month is wireless minutes.
Best for Texting: During the second half of 2016, RootMetrics testing found that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile were tied for first place in overall texting performance. All three carriers had a near-100-percent success rate in sending and delivering texts. Sprint's texting performance was just a bit shy of making this metric a four-way tie.
Best for Data-Heavy Usage: This category is a bit more nuanced than the others. Overall, Verizon's LTE network delivered both the fastest speeds and the most reliable connections to customers in Watsonville, CA. T-Mobile's average data speed increased dramatically in 2016, however, and AT&T showed improvement in average speeds as well.
Breadth of Coverage: All four carriers have an extremely broad network in Watsonville, CA, with coverage almost everywhere. Sprint, which is still expanding its LTE network, has slightly less high-speed coverage. Even so, it has the high-density city and suburban areas covered very well.
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 Watsonville, 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 Watsonville, 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.
Choosing a wireless plan that works best for you
When you are searching for a wireless plan, you will need to consider who will all be using the plan and the different services that you will need to include. Almost all cell phone carriers factor three things into each plan: minutes, text messages, data usage in MB or GB.
When you choose a cheaper plan, you can set a limit on how many minutes and text messages you can use to about 400 or less. But if you talk on the phone a lot and send multiple text messages, an unlimited plan will be the best bet. When you choose a no contract plan, you'll be loading your wireless card with cash that will pay for the minutes. These can be purchased by the minute or bought as a package. For example, 1,000 minutes for a flat rate of $40 is a typical purchase. When your minutes are used up, you'll need to add more to your plan.
The amount of data you use is another big factor in how to pick a cell phone plan. Almost all carriers in the Watsonville, CA area charge higher amounts for high data usage, and there are basically no plans that allow for unlimited data. Cell phone plans are usually priced per gigabyte and megabyte. With many plans, going over the data limit per month can occur and will cost you in overages. To avoid this, choose a data plan that will be enough for yours or your family's needs.
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 Watsonville, 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 Watsonville, CA and change very frequently, but they do often represent a good savings each month.
Best Cell Phone Plans in Watsonville, CA ZIP Codes
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