Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Rapid City, SD 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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How to choose the best cell phone plan in Rapid City, SD
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 Rapid City, SD 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 Rapid City, SD. 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 Rapid City, SD, 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.
Understanding the different types of cell phone plans
When searching for a cell phone plan in Rapid City, SD, you're looking for one that gives you enough minutes, text messages and data to fit your needs. These features are broken down in plans by: minutes covered, text messages available and data limits.
Most people rely on cell phones for the majority, if not all, of their communication needs. You'll need to make sure the plan you choose has enough talk, text and data for you and anyone else you choose to carry on your plan.
Each cell phone plan has its own limitations, so deciding the most important features for you and your family is key to discovering the perfect plan. To help you out, here's a breakdown of the 3 main categories of cell phone plans:
Individual plans offer services for one line on one phone. All of the minutes, data and text available in the plan can only be used by that phone. If you don't want to add anyone else to your plan, then this could be a great choice.
Family plans spread out the data, minutes and text over several lines and phones. The number of lines and phones is up to you and some plans offer discounts for adding additional lines. If you want service for your entire family, these plans are the best deal because they are cheaper than buying individual plans for each person.
With no contract plans, you pay for service without the obligation of a contract. Often called pay-as-you-go, these plans offer the same features and benefits of individual and family plans, but often with additional fees. Most plans now allow you to use the same smart phones available for other plans, but at a higher price. Payments can be made each month and some carriers offer online or phone payments by credit card, bank account or prepaid cards that you can find in most Rapid City, SD department stores.
The biggest advantage of the monthly plans is the absence of a contract. With family and individual plans you are bound by a contract that is typically no less than 2 years. This contract obligates you to pay for service through the end of the contract, and early termination comes with fees, penalties and extra charges.
Cell phone plans in Rapid City, SD: better than ever before
Renewed competition in the American wireless industry means good things for consumers. In 2016, the price for a gigabyte of data declined drastically and unlimited data plans made a big comeback at major carriers and MVNOs alike. Now that coverage is relatively equal throughout the Rapid City, SD area, you can shop in entirely new ways, including by price, features, data buckets, or the availability of totally unlimited service.
When shopping for new plans, make sure to fully understand the terms and conditions associated with any offer, including promotional terms, billing credits, device financing restrictions, and other carrier-specific policies that may be in place. While these restrictions are uncommon, it's always better to understand their impact while shopping instead of when the 30-day buyer's remorse period has concluded.
Rapid City, SD cell phone service comparison
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T provide wireless service in the Rapid City, SD 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.
Rapid City, SD 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 Rapid City, SD 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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