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Saving Money on Cell Phone Plans Begins with Choosing the Right Wireless Carrier

By (view all posts by Yasarh)
at 1:21PM Thursday July 29, 2010
under Product Review

Choosing the right wireless carrier for your phone is an extremely important decision.  If you choose one you're not happy with, you could be stuck with them for two years.  If you go in not knowing much about your plan, you're probably going to regret it.  It's like going on a blind date that lasts two years. 

Fortunately, Guy and I are here to give you the advantages and disadvantages of the top wireless carriers.
AT&T: The most popular reason to join AT&T is for the iPhone.  As you know, it does everything and then some.  They have a pretty extensive 3G network that works most places you want.  The one downside is the quality of their network.  They've been known for having a significantly higher dropped call frequency than Verizon and several other top networks.  Another downside to AT&T is they've gotten rid of the option to have an unlimited data plan.  For some users, this is actually an advantage because they have cheaper plans than they originally had.  For others, this makes it a lot more expensive since they use spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos, streaming Pandora, and using other data draining apps on their phones.

Verizon: If you're looking for great call quality and fewer dropped calls, Verizon is definitely the carrier for you.  It has an extensive 3G network so you'll be covered pretty much everywhere you go.  They've got a great selection of phones to compete with the iPhone--namely the Android phones.  The downside for Verizon is price.  They currently still have an unlimited data plan in place but rumors have been circling the interwebs that they plan on changing that soon.  This could end up giving them a disadvantage when compared to AT&T.  Their premier phone, the Droid X, has been reported to use more data than the iPhone.

Sprint: Sprint has the advantage of having their 4G network available in big cities around the US already.  Their 4G HTC Evo phone claims to be up to 10 times faster than the 3G phones.  More people are starting to switch over to Sprint to avoid AT&T's dropped calls and Verizon's higher costs. Some commonly reported disadvantages include a less than stellar battery life and the camera leaves a lot to be desired when compared to its major rivals.

That wraps up our brief rundown of the top three wireless carriers in the US.  Don't forget to research how dependable the carriers are in your area before choosing a plan.  Also, keep in mind all cell phone carriers have very customizable plans so keep in mind which ones you'll be using and which ones will just be a waste of money.  You can follow me and Guy on Twitter @YasarSavings and @SavingsGCapes for tech money saving tips.