Find and compare the best cell phone plans in District of Columbia 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.
How to choose the ideal mobile phone plan in District of Columbia
With such a rich assortment of options available for mobile phone plans, it takes little effort to find one that adheres to your spending budget while keeping you linked in. But what features are most important to you, and just how much are you willing to spend on them? While one offer might seem to offer it all, it might also be a major burden on your finances when compared with another package that has similar talk, texting, and data transfer restrictions. As soon as you've found a decent cell phone package, it's wise to review it in comparison to as many mobile phone plans as you can. At Wirefly, you can check out a number of diverse cell phone plans at the most affordable rates. We work to save you time and cash, enabling you to find the most effective plan at the lowest cost.
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 District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia. 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 District of Columbia, 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 District of Columbia. 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 District of Columbia. 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.
Cell phone plans in District of Columbia: better than ever before
Renewed competition in the American wireless industry means good things for consumers. In 2016, the price for a gigabyte of data declined drastically and unlimited data plans made a big comeback at major carriers and MVNOs alike. Now that coverage is relatively equal throughout the District of Columbia area, you can shop in entirely new ways, including by price, features, data buckets, or the availability of totally unlimited service.
When shopping for new plans, make sure to fully understand the terms and conditions associated with any offer, including promotional terms, billing credits, device financing restrictions, and other carrier-specific policies that may be in place. While these restrictions are uncommon, it's always better to understand their impact while shopping instead of when the 30-day buyer's remorse period has concluded.
District of Columbia cell phone service comparison
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T provide wireless service in the District of Columbia area. However, these major carriers aren't the only options available to local cellphone users. Many lesser-known providers use the networks of these companies. A small carrier is called an MVNO. People in this city can use the top carriers as well as most MVNOs, so they have a wide range of choices to compare.
This well-established provider has many different service options. Customers can subscribe to family or single plans and pay monthly bills. An alternative is to sign up for a pay-as-you-go plan. Verizon Wireless contracts have specific caps on data bandwidth, but no limits apply to other communication services. Users may send an unlimited number of text messages and talk as long as they like.
Unlike other carriers, T-Mobile only offers contract-free service. It provides options for families as well as individuals. The company's Simple Choice and ONE plans charge one monthly fee for unlimited communications. Subscribers may text and talk for any number of hours. Internet bandwidth is also unlimited, but transfer speeds drop considerably after people exceed T-Mobile's data limits.
District of Columbia residents can sign up for a variety of cellphone contracts with Sprint. One of the more recent family-oriented options is called Better Choice. Unlike most carriers, this company gives users the ability to obtain genuinely unlimited Internet access. Customers on an uncapped plan benefit from a 4G LTE network and may transfer any amount of data at the maximum speed.
This top communications provider has served people for many decades. It offers widespread cellular coverage, numerous plan options and satellite TV bundles. Users may subscribe with or without a contract. The company's month-to-month services are desirable for customers who don't want to commit to paying a monthly bill for years. Both family and single-line plans are available from AT&T.
Several other cellphone companies supply coverage in the District of Columbia area. They include lesser-known MVNOs that provide high-quality service. The Wirefly comparison system enables users to easily compare these carriers with each other and the above-mentioned providers. This gives an even better chance of finding affordable services that offer appealing features. To find a suitable plan with competitive rates, please try our free comparison tool today.
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