Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Elkville, IL 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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Sprint Unlimited BasicNo ContractFeatured This is a featured placement from an advertiser where their product matches your search
Stream DVD-quality video at 480p, no overage charges
500MB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot
Unlimited international texts from US to 185+ countries
Unlimited MinutesTalk & Text (to/from US, Canada & Mexico)
Unlimited 4G LTE Data (may be slowed after 50GB of usage per month)
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 Elkville, IL. 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.
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 Elkville, IL 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 Elkville, IL. 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 Elkville, IL, 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.
Different cell phone plans
Typical cell phone users in Elkville, IL look for a plan that will allow them the basics- to send and receive text messages, make calls and use their data when needed. A wireless service depends on factors such as minutes offered, text message limits, and data limits.
Depending on how much you plan to use your cell phone, choose a plan that you are certain will meet your needs. We allow you to search different carriers and their plan types with our service and you will see the savings you could get by choosing that particular plan. You'll choose from three categories for wireless plans.
These plans are: individual plans, family plans, and no contract plans.
Individual plans, or single line plans, only include one line per plan. The line includes talk, text and data usage and will not include any other device or phone. When you don't have children or a spouse, a single line may be the best cell phone plan for your needs.
A family plan is the best choice when you have multiple phone users in your family, as it mixes up plan offers and devices. If you are in need of two or more lines, this plan is probably the best choice, even though it will cost a bit more. Everyone who has a phone in these plans will share minutes, data and text messages, so it is important to choose a plan that will cover the needs of absolutely everyone in your family.
A prepaid, or pay-as-you-go, month-to-month cell phone plan is also known as a no contract plan. These are generally flexible by way of pricing and payments. Pay-as-you-go phones offer way more options nowadays than when they first came out for sale. Most Elkville, IL department stores offer prepaid phones that you can purchase and start using right away. Simply pay for the features you want. However, you may be required to pay additional fees and the price of the actual phone may be higher, unless you pick a very cheap model. Many pay-as-you-go companies now offer the latest smartphones as well, and you will never be bound to a contract with this type.
When you choose a carrier that offers contract plans, you are typically being asked to sign up for a minimum of one year, but more than likely you'll be bound by contract for two years. This is a good choice if you want the newest smartphone but can't afford to pay for it upfront, as you can pay in monthly installments as part of your actual phone bill. When you wish to cancel, you either have to wait until the contract is up or pay an early termination fee, which could be hundreds of dollars, depending on the amount of months that you have left.
The elements of a cell phone plan
The biggest difference between cell phone plans, outside of price and coverage, is the amount of features available to you. Most plans come with some kind of talk, text and data availability, but the amount and price of those features varies.
The majority of contract plans offer unlimited talk and text, but if you don't need that many minutes or messages, you can save some money by choosing a limited plan. With no-contract plans, you can buy minutes and messages individually or in grouped packages to use as you need them.
You'll definitely want to consider the data packages available when choosing a cell phone plan in Elkville, IL. The more data you need, the bigger your price tag will be. Going over your data limits will typically cost you overage charges, so be sure to pick a plan that offers enough data for you. Most plans are priced by the megabyte of gigabyte, but a small amount of plans do offer unlimited data plans. The unlimited plans typically allow you to use a certain amount of data at high speeds and then limit you to using unlimited data at very low speeds.
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 Elkville, IL:
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 Elkville, IL and change very frequently, but they do often represent a good savings each month.
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