Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Clifton, VA 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.
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 Clifton, VA. If you want to find the best plan for you, there is a lot to think about before purchasing a new plan.
Clifton, VA cell phone service coverage
Before signing up for cellphone service, people need to confirm that local coverage is available. The best provider may differ depending on where a person works, lives and shops in Clifton, VA. You can also benefit from finding out if service is offered in other areas that they frequently visit. A plan may cost relatively little, but it isn't worth the expense if 'no signal' errors frequently appear.
The good news is that major cellphone services generally provide thorough coverage in nearly all U.S. cities. Nonetheless, it makes sense to compare multiple companies' coverage areas and find out if they serve the entire region. This is a more important consideration for people who frequently travel to different parts of the United States. 'Dead zones' remain more widespread in small towns and rural areas.
Comparing cell phone plans
When you are searching for the best cell phone plan for your needs, you'll definitely need the very basics of cell phone coverage. This includes talk, text and data, which vary according to each carrier. Different wireless services offer different plans concerning these three factors: individual, family, and no-contract.
We offer an easy way to search through different cell phone carriers and plans in Clifton, VA. You can check out who has the best deals that will help you make a smart, educated decision. You'll be looking at three different categories concerning wireless plans.
An individual plan is also called a single line plan. There will be only one phone plan to pay for, which is perfect if you don't have any children or a spouse.
Family plans are the best choice when you need to pay for multiple devices in your family. These plans typically offer two or more lines and do cost a bit more. However, the cost is comparable to having multiple single plans within one household and much easier to keep track of. Everyone in the plan with a phone will share data, minutes and texts.
Pay-as-you-go phones were once very popular and then faded away for a bit. However, these no contract, prepaid phones are making a huge comeback, especially since most national carriers now offer them. You can even purchase most newer smartphone models and simply buy a prepaid card with minutes. You add this to the phone plan and once it runs out, you simply buy another. Many plans offer huge savings for bulk minutes, such as 1000 minutes for $50. This plan is perfect if you need a phone, but don't use it often enough to need unlimited data, text or calls.
Many wireless carriers offer contract plans to new customers, meaning you will need to sign a contract for at least one year, usually two. This is a good idea when you don't have the cash to pay for the latest smartphone, as you can spread the payments out over the contract period, bundled with your actual monthly phone bill. These plans often allow you to upgrade your phone to the newest model after a year if you wish to have the latest phone. However, you cannot get out of a contract unless you pay an early termination fee, as well as pay off your existing phone model. This could mean hundreds of dollars in fees, so be sure your plan is the right one before signing any contract.
The elements of a cell phone plan
The biggest difference between cell phone plans, outside of price and coverage, is the amount of features available to you. Most plans come with some kind of talk, text and data availability, but the amount and price of those features varies.
The majority of contract plans offer unlimited talk and text, but if you don't need that many minutes or messages, you can save some money by choosing a limited plan. With no-contract plans, you can buy minutes and messages individually or in grouped packages to use as you need them.
You'll definitely want to consider the data packages available when choosing a cell phone plan in Clifton, VA. The more data you need, the bigger your price tag will be. Going over your data limits will typically cost you overage charges, so be sure to pick a plan that offers enough data for you. Most plans are priced by the megabyte of gigabyte, but a small amount of plans do offer unlimited data plans. The unlimited plans typically allow you to use a certain amount of data at high speeds and then limit you to using unlimited data at very low speeds.
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 Clifton, VA:
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 Clifton, VA and change very frequently, but they do often represent a significant savings each month.
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