Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Joliet, 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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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 Joliet, 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 Joliet, 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 Joliet, 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 Joliet, 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.
Major cell phone plan types
Many Joliet, IL 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 Joliet, IL 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.
The best wireless plan
Consider all the different features that are important when you are looking for the right plan. There are three factors to keep in mind when choosing the best one for you or your family in Joliet, IL: minutes, text messages, and data.
Cheaper cell phone plans often allow you to set a limit on the number of minutes you can talk and the number of text messages you can send. This is good for someone who doesn't use their phone a lot. But if you do, you'll want to look for a plan with unlimited talk and text. Luckily, most cell phone carriers offer this as a basic option, so you won't be paying much more for it when you choose it. With a contract plan, you'll use a wireless card to load minutes onto your phone for talking and texting. When you need more minutes, you simply purchase more. No contract phones cannot charge you for overages, as you simply cannot cause them.
If you plan to use a good deal of data in Joliet, IL, be sure to look for a plan that offers you higher gigabyte plans. Cheaper plans come with two to five gigabytes for the month, which may be all you need if you can always connect to Wi-Fi. Higher plans offer anywhere from ten to 20 gigabytes per month and are great for consumers who may be using their device in places without Wi-Fi to connect to. You'll also want to check if the company will charge you for overages, as many will charge for every gigabyte you go over per month, which can really make your bill skyrocket if you aren't careful.
Cell phone service providers in Joliet, IL
The companies listed below all provide coverage to Joliet, IL. The majority of the lesser-known providers run on one or several of these major carrier systems, so it's likely that your current location has coverage.
AT&T is among the most widely known cellular service providers and offers several kinds of plans, including personal, family, and prepaid mobile plans.
Sprint offers several different kinds of options, one being its just-launched friend/family plan referred to as the 'Better Choice Plan.' In addition, Sprint is one of very few large companies to provide unlimited wireless 4G data usage with no bandwidth throttling.
All of T-Mobile's plans are classified as prepaid or pay-per-use plans. These plans allow the company's clients to receive unlimited talking, texting, and data usage (with varying levels of throttling) at one monthly rate. T-Mobile provides personal as well as family mobile phone plans.
Verizon provides personal, family, and pay-as-you-go plans. Verizon lets you choose a no-contract or family data usage plan to start off. Family data plans may cover just one person or a whole household, and they have no talking or texting limits and a predetermined level of data.
A number of other smaller but high-quality mobile companies exist and cover Joliet, IL that you can review together with the previously listed large providers through the use of the mobile carrier plan compare tool above.
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