Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Columbia, TN 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.
Columbia, TN cell phone coverage
One of the most important features that you need to consider in a cell phone plan is how well you will be covered. You'll need to have good reception when you are in Columbia, TN, so you need to choose a plan that offers the best coverage. While you may find a cheap cell phone plan that you want to go with, it won't do you any good if you can't get proper service in your area. Luckily, most national carriers now offer reliable coverage for cities around the United States, so chances are, you'll be covered wherever you go. Before you choose a plan, look at their coverage maps to make sure you get the right plan for your geographical area.
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 Columbia, TN, 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.
Which cell phone plan should you choose?
During the process of selecting a plan, you'll need to consider the number of people who will be covered and what kinds of features they'll need to have. Most service providers divide these plan features into one of these three categories: minutes, texts, and data usage.
Inexpensive contract plans restrict the number of minutes and/or texts to around 400 or fewer. Unrestricted plans are more cost-efficient if you text or talk frequently throughout the day and can't abide any limitations. With prepaid plans, you usually fund your phone card with cash to purchase minutes, which are available per minute or in a bundle, like 500 minutes for 20 dollars. After you've used up your minutes, you must buy more.
How much data you use is an important consideration when selecting plans these days. Many Columbia, TN providers charge a lot for heavy data usage, and there aren't many unlimited wireless data packages on the market. Plans are usually charged according to MB and GB usage. Sometimes, exceeding your data capacity can result in costly penalty fees. To avoid these unwanted charges, choose a data package that can handle the amount of data you use.
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 Columbia, TN:
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 Columbia, TN and change very frequently, but they do often represent a significant savings each month.
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