Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Washington, DC 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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The best cell phone plan for you in Washington, DC
You want to find the perfect cell phone plan for your budget, that will give you all the features and connectivity you need, but sorting through the options can be a bit overwhelming. At Wirefly, we take the confusion out of picking a cell phone plan by helping you compare the features and benefits you're looking for. By breaking down exactly what you need and what you're willing to spend for it, you can sort through the options and find the perfect pick for you. Once you've discovered a plan that has what you need, you can compare it to all the other available plans on the market to make sure you're getting those features for the best price. Our cell phone plan comparisons help you save time and money, all while finding the perfect plan at a price that works for you.
Washington, DC cell phone service coverage
Before signing up for cellphone service, people need to confirm that local coverage is available. The best provider may differ depending on where a person works, lives and shops in Washington, DC. You can also benefit from finding out if service is offered in other areas that they frequently visit. A plan may cost relatively little, but it isn't worth the expense if 'no signal' errors frequently appear.
The good news is that major cellphone services generally provide thorough coverage in nearly all U.S. cities. Nonetheless, it makes sense to compare multiple companies' coverage areas and find out if they serve the entire region. This is a more important consideration for people who frequently travel to different parts of the United States. 'Dead zones' remain more widespread in small towns and rural areas.
Getting started: what different kinds of cell phone plans exist?
While the American wireless industry is changing rapidly and becoming exceedingly competitive, the overall premise of wireless plans remains the same. In Washington, DC, you'll be able to choose from a family plan, an individual postpaid line, or prepaid plans that present no long-term contract or device financing requirements. Here's the basics on each type of plan available:
Family plans are the most popular type of cell phone plan in the United States. Family plans enable multiple people in a family or small business to share a single account, dividing line and data fees across several different people in order to get a less expensive monthly cost of service for each person on the plan. Most carriers offer deep discounts on the price of a GB of data for multi-line accounts, making it cheaper for everyone. However, multi-line accounts are also hard to move between carriers due to different device payment plans and coverage concerns.
Individual plans enable a single person to pick the amount of data they need each month for themselves. Though these plans are typically more expensive than family plans, individual plans are simpler to manage and are geared towards people who do not want to share expenses and device upgrades with friends or members of their family.
Prepaid plans have become far more ubiquitous these days. The majority of prepaid plans offer more data at a lower cost than an individual plan at a major carrier, but still offer many of the most popular phones. In addition, prepaid family plans offer more inexpensive costs for multi-line accounts than some traditional family plans at the 'Big 4' carriers. These plans are usually ineligible for device financing, which means you'll likely have to pay full price to buy a new smartphone.
Deciding which cell phone plan is best in Washington, DC
Choosing the right plan requires consideration of the types of services a person really needs. As mentioned previously, most carriers offer three primary services: minutes, text messaging and data usage.
The cheapest plans often limit the amount of minutes and text messages used on a phone line. Some are 400 or less; others might be as high as 1,000 minutes per month. For the person who talks extensively on his or her cell phone, an unlimited plan is the better selection.
No contract plans require loading the cell phone with a certain number of paid minutes. More time is added once the prepaid amount has been used.
Most carriers in Washington, DC charge a lot for huge amounts of data usage since this has become a major factor in the way customers choose their cell phone plans. With plans often priced per megabyte and gigabyte, going over data limits can become very expensive when overages start adding up. Choosing a plan that covers data usage needs will help customers avoid overly expensive cell phone bills.
Choosing a plan and features: what to keep in mind
So, you know the type of plan you need and you're impressed with the coverage at all four major carriers. Now what? The last step in choosing the best cell phone plan in Washington, DC, is to actually find the right mix of price and features. Thanks to relatively uniform coverage across all four major carriers, this process is easier in Washington, DC than it is in many other parts of the country. Here's what to know, based on popular types of plans:
Unlimited Data: Sprint and T-Mobile offer no-strings-attached unlimited data plans to all, which also include unlimited talking and texting. AT&T offers unlimited data to Internet or DIRECTV subscribers. Verizon doesn't offer unlimited data at all.
Unlimited Talk and Text: All four carriers have shifted to unlimited talk and text across all plans, except for one prepaid plan at T-Mobile.
Sharing Data: If you want to share data between family members, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T are the right fit. T-Mobile's limited data plans give each line its own data allotment.
International Coverage: Heading to overseas? Only T-Mobile offers free 'roam like home' talk, text, and LTE coverage in all of Mexico and Canada. Data at 2G speeds is also free on Sprint and T-Mobile around the world.
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