Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Hawaii 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.
Choosing a cell phone plan in Hawaii
For a long time, the technology in smartphones was evolving faster than the 'Big Four' wireless carriers in the United States. As phones grew into robust, pocket-sized computers, carriers enforced small data plans, limits on minutes, and expensive charges for exceeding a monthly allotment of text messages. That is no longer the case, thankfully. Over the past four years or so, the industry has gotten far more competitive and innovative. The result is that there has never been a better time to shop for a new wireless plan, or an entirely new wireless carrier, in Hawaii. If you're in the market for a better plan that can fit with your unique usage patterns, there is much to consider before heading out to shop and make a commitment.
Finding cell phone coverage in Hawaii
You want a cell phone that offers you good coverage in Hawaii, 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.
Major cell phone plan types
Many Hawaii residents use cellphones for several different purposes. They often make voice calls, access the Internet and engage in texting. When people select cellular plans, they need to consider several different limits. Separate caps may pertain to voice minutes, text messages and data transfers. Different limits often apply to international communications, especially when subscribers make calls to people in countries outside of North America.
Individuals who completely or mostly rely on cellphones must find plans with enough data and minutes to fully meet their communication needs. Users who have home Internet connections and/or landline phones may be satisfied with the most basic cell phone services. Either way, Wirefly enables people to find affordable plans that have what they need. Most cell phone plans fit into one of three types: family, individual or no contract.
A family plan is more expensive than individual wireless service, but it costs less per line. All of the subscriber's mobile devices share the same amount of bandwidth and minutes. It's crucial to choose a plan with limits that accommodate the total cellphone usage of all family members. Alternately, a single-line plan only provides service for one phone. It's the most economical option for people who don't live with any other cellphone users.
A no contract plan offers the greatest flexibility and helps keep costs under control. Some providers call it a pay-as-you-go, prepaid or month-to-month plan. This type of service has become more convenient than it was in the past. Locals can visit department stores in Hawaii and purchase prepaid cell phones. It's normally possible to begin using the phones immediately. However, extra fees may apply and high-end cell phones tend to cost more than usual.
No contract plans let people spend just as much as they want, and it's easy to switch providers at any time. On the other hand, individual and family contracts usually remain in effect for at least 12 months. Subscribers pay monthly fees and the contract requires them to keep paying until it expires. A substantial fee must be paid to cancel early; it includes a fine and a portion of the unpaid amount.
Cell phone plans in Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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.
Hawaii cell phone carrier comparison
There are 4 major cell phone carriers in Hawaii. Other smaller carriers, called MVNOs operate using the larger carrier's networks. The big networks offer a lot of coverage, so you will likely find coverage for your area.
AT&T offers an array of plans to fit your needs. From individual and family plans to pay-as-you go plans with unlimited data, there are many options for individuals and families from this carrier. Plans from AT&T are reasonably priced, but their overage charges can be expensive. To combat this, some plans offer rollover options.
Verizon is the largest carrier in the U.S., offering coverage in remote areas where service can be spotty. This probably won't be an issue for you in Hawaii, but it's reassuring for travel. Verizon has a large selection of plans and phones, but they do not offer unlimited data, and their plans can be pricey.
Sprint offers a number of budget-friendly plans, including ones that give you unlimited talk, text and data. These affordable plans are excellent for families, but not great for anyone that requires fast, consistent service. Sprint coverage is not the best and the data speeds can be slow. However, the price is often unbeatable.
T-Mobile, who call themselves the “Uncarrier,” only offer no-contract plans. Their plans are affordable and most give you unlimited everything, including data. The downside to T-Mobile is their network. T-Mobile does not perform well in some areas, so if you want to consider one of their plans, be sure to check the coverage maps to make sure you'll have peak performance in your area.
MVNOs and other carriers
There are a variety of other carriers out there and some of them have some great deals. Using our cell phone comparison tool, you can find a plan that works for you and then see what's available from smaller carriers.
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