Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Harrisonburg, 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.
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Choosing the best cell phone plan in Harrisonburg, VA
If you've lived in Harrisonburg, VA long enough, you'll remember a time where all of the major carriers had some big holes in their coverage. This made it particularly difficult to shop for a mobile service plan, especially if you lived outside the city itself. Many suburbs suffered from particularly poor coverage well into the 21st century. Thankfully, the industry has righted its coverage wrongs in the United States over the last decade. Now, coverage is roughly equal between all four of America's major wireless carriers in Harrisonburg, VA and the surrounding areas. With that in mind, what should you know before setting out for a new wireless plan or service provider? There are some tips that can make this process quite a bit easier.
Cell phone coverage in Harrisonburg, VA is good
No matter how good the features or price on a cell phone plan look, it makes no sense to purchase that plan if it doesn't work in Harrisonburg, VA, or where you live or work. To that end, most of the country has become a hub of very fast and robust LTE coverage on all major carriers and MVNOs in the past few years. While AT&T and Verizon have had broad coverage and fast LTE networks in Harrisonburg, VA, carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint had often lagged behind in terms of coverage, LTE technology, and overall speed. This is not the case any longer.
Now, all four major carriers have the city and its entire suburban area covered with fast LTE technology. In fact, all four carriers score within just a few points of each other in tests of speed, quality of calls, text message reliability and delivery rates, and depth of coverage, in Harrisonburg, VA. This means that you now have more options to choose from, more features to benefit from, and more price points available than ever before. There is no need to compromise on any one metric, and you can really find the best plan for your needs.
Understanding the different types of cell phone plans
When searching for a cell phone plan in Harrisonburg, VA, 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 Harrisonburg, VA 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.
Deciding which cell phone plan is best in Harrisonburg, VA
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 Harrisonburg, VA 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 Harrisonburg, 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 Harrisonburg, VA and change very frequently, but they do often represent a significant savings each month.
Best Cell Phone Plans in Harrisonburg, VA ZIP Codes
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