Find and compare the best cell phone plans in South Carolina 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.
Choosing the cell phone plan that's best for South Carolina
There are a multitude of cell phone plans available to everyone nowadays, as well as the different wireless carriers who provide them. Figuring out which one is best for yourself or your family can be difficult, but not impossible if you know what you are looking for going in. You need to know exactly what you need in a phone before you sign up for a plan, especially if you are signing a one or two-year contract. While many plans are very similar, a few differences can make the difference between saving money and wasting it. You may be paying more for one feature with one carrier that is exactly the same with another when you don't need to. Use Wirefly to view and compare all the different rates and plans that are available from different carriers. We are here to make sure you don't find yourself trapped in a one to two-year plan that isn't satisfactory.
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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina. 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 South Carolina, 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.
Types of wireless service plans
Typically, many of the people in South Carolina prefer a cell phone plan where they receive the right amount of minutes, receive text messages and use data on the go. Choosing a wireless service depends on the quality of coverage for each of these factors.
This is particularly true for people whose cell phone is their primary or only communication device. Having a wireless plan that suits their needs becomes much more important. Using the Wirefly service, users can look up plan details for multiple carriers to see how much they can actually save compared to their current wireless plan.
Basically, three categories exist for wireless plans: family plans, individual plans, and no contract plans.
Family plans give customers a phone line for each family member. With some carriers, devices and plan offerings are provided based on individual need although each line is part of one plan. Family plans come with a higher price tag, obviously, but it is still the best deal for a person who has more than one line. Comparing the total cost per phone is much cheaper than single plan pricing. With some family plans, calls, text messages and data are shared, which means the plan will need to cover everyone's individual needs.
An individual plan is a one line, one rate cell phone plan that does not include other devices or phones. People who are not married or do not have children should choose this type of cell phone plan.
No contract plans, also known as pay-as-you-go, prepaid or month-to-month provide flexible pricing and payment options. This type of cell phone plan has evolved from its original prepaid cell phone card days. Typically, prepaid phones can be picked up from any department store in South Carolina. These phones do not require activation; they are ready for immediate use.
Although customers who get the no contract plan only pays for what they want to use, there are usually additional fees for this type of convenience. Additionally, prices for cell phones under this type of plan might be much higher than a family or individual plan unless a simple style is chosen.
Prepaid plans are attractive to people who do not want the obligation of a contract. A person must sign up for cell phone service with a specific carrier for at least one or two years. Monthly payments are made, but there is also an early termination fee if the customer cancels before the term of the agreement ends.
Cell phone plans in South Carolina are better than ever
Increased competition among American wireless companies means prices have dropped for buyers. In 2016, the price for a GB of data declined by a lot, and unlimited data plans made a significant comeback at major carriers and MVNOs alike. Now that coverage is relatively equal throughout the South Carolina area, you can buy cell service in entirely new ways, including by price, features, data amounts, or the availability of totally unlimited service.
When looking for a new cell phone plan, make sure you understand the terms and conditions associated with the plan, including promotional terms, billing credits, device financing restrictions, and other terms that may be in place. While these restrictions are uncommon, it's always better to understand their impact before you make a final decision.
South Carolina cell phone service comparison
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T provide wireless service in the South Carolina 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.
South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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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