Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Rhode Island 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.
You want to find the perfect cell phone plan for your budget, that will give you all the features and connectivity you need, but sorting through the options can be a bit overwhelming. At Wirefly, we take the confusion out of picking a cell phone plan by helping you compare the features and benefits you're looking for. By breaking down exactly what you need and what you're willing to spend for it, you can sort through the options and find the perfect pick for you. Once you've discovered a plan that has what you need, you can compare it to all the other available plans on the market to make sure you're getting those features for the best price. Our cell phone plan comparisons help you save time and money, all while finding the perfect plan at a price that works for you.
Rhode Island cell phone coverage
When shopping for cell phone plans, you'll notice that there is often a trade-off between price and coverage. If you see a plan whose price is right, your next step should be to check the coverage map for Rhode Island. The value of your plan is only as good as the coverage quality. Most major carriers have good coverage throughout the country, including Rhode Island. Before committing to a plan, check carrier coverage maps against one another to make sure you can connect reliably.
Major cell phone plan types
Many Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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.
Deciding which cell phone plan is best in Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island 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.
Texts, minutes, and data: which option is best for you?
Now that you know which type of plan you'll be shopping for, it's time to make another important consideration: What do you need each month in terms of voice minutes, texts and data? While this used to be a pretty complex decision to make, especially for family plan members who were splitting each of these three things, that's no longer the case due to shifts in the industry. Current wireless industry plans have almost all dropped limits on voice minutes and texts. Postpaid family plans and individual plans at Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, all include unlimited talking and texting. Only a select number of no-commitment prepaid plans still enforce limits on these use cases.
The good news is that you can focus only on the amount of data that you need on a monthly basis. Two carriers make this decision easy, while two others will require a bit of careful consideration before selecting a plan. Here's what to know when selecting a cell phone plan in Rhode Island:
The Un-Carrier, as it's known, recently made a bold push toward unlimited data for all. The company replaced its Simple Choice plan lineup with T-Mobile ONE, an all-unlimited, single plan that it offers to individuals and families alike. The company's Simple Choice plans, which feature 2GB, 6GB, or 10GB of data, are still available for customers who prefer them, however. These plans feature 12-month data rollover and no overages, so there's no extra cost added to the bill based on usage.
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.
AT&T offers unlimited data only to customers who also have its DirecTV satellite television service or U-Verse IPTV service. Otherwise, customers will be sharing data buckets with every line on their account. In 2016, AT&T introduced a no-overages policy that slows 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.
Verizon eliminated overages early in 2016 and, later in the year, introduced rollover data for its shared data buckets. The company's plans mirror AT&T's, though an unlimited data option is not available to new customers at all.
Smaller prepaid carriers, called MVNOs, typically use one of the four above networks and resell services to no-commitment customers. These plans cover Rhode Island and change very frequently, but they do often represent a significant savings each month.
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