Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Oakland, MD 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 best cell phone plan in Oakland, MD
Nowadays, the different cell phone plans available are abundant. You don't really have to search for a plan that will keep you connected to family and friends while not destroying your budget. However, it is still important to understand just exactly what you need and how much it will cost before choosing a cell phone plan. You may think that one plan is the best, but you may be paying more for the same features than you would if you chose a similar carrier. When you do come across a cell phone plan that you are happy with, you'll want to compare it to other plans before making the switch. You can save both time and money by viewing many different cell phone carriers and features right here at Wirefly. We'll help you find the plan that is best for you and your wallet.
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 Oakland, MD 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 Oakland, MD. 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 Oakland, MD, 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.
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 Oakland, MD, 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 Oakland, MD
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 Oakland, MD 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.
Oakland, MD cell phone service comparison
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T provide wireless service in the Oakland, MD 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.
Oakland, MD 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 Oakland, MD 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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