Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Rocky Ridge, 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.
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Finding the best cell phone plans in Rocky Ridge, MD
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 high-powered, pocket-sized computing devices, carriers enacted limited data plans, limits on voice minutes, and costly charges for exceeding a monthly limit of text messages. Now, this is no longer the case. Over the past few years, the wireless industry has gotten far more competitive and the end result is good for the consumer. Due to the price wars between carriers, there has never been a better time to shop for a new cell phone plan plan, or an entirely new carrier in Rocky Ridge, MD. If you want to find the best plan for you, there is a lot to think about before purchasing a new plan.
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 Rocky Ridge, 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 Rocky Ridge, 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 Rocky Ridge, 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 types of cell phone plans are out there?
While the American wireless industry is changing rapidly and becoming exceedingly competitive, the basic structure of wireless plans remains the same. In Rocky Ridge, MD, you'll be able to choose from a multi-line family plan, a single post-paid line, or prepaid options that present no long-term contractual or device financing requirement. Here's a primer on each type of plan:
By far the most popular type of plan in the United States, family plans allow multiple people to 'share' a single account, splitting line and data fees across several different people in order to get a lower monthly cost of service for each person. Most carriers offer significant discounts on the price of a gigabyte of data for multi-line accounts, making it the economical way of signing up for service. Of course, multi-line accounts are also hard to move between carriers due to different device payment plans and coverage concerns.
Quite the opposite of a family plan, individual plans allow a single person to pick the amount of data they need each month without splitting the bill. Though more expensive than family plans, individual accounts are easier to manage and are perfect for people who don't want to split expenses and device upgrades with friends or family members.
Once a strong draw because they lacked contracts, today no-commitment plans are a more affordable alternative to individual plans. Most prepaid plans offer more data at a lower cost than an individual plan at a major carrier. Furthermore, prepaid family plans offer a lower cost for multi-line accounts than some traditional family plans at the 'Big 4.' These plans are ineligible for device financing, however, which means you'll have to pay full price to buy a new phone upon release.
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 Rocky Ridge, MD: 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 Rocky Ridge, MD, 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.
Rocky Ridge, MD cell phone carrier comparison
There are 4 major cell phone carriers in Rocky Ridge, MD. 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 Rocky Ridge, MD, 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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