Saturday, May 25, 2024

How to find a better cell phone operator

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After years of cell phone contracts that lock you into a certain provider, many people have a habit of treating this relationship as a marriage. But just because a certain carrier worked for you 10 years ago doesn’t mean it’s the best for you today. Different carriers excel in different areas like new technologies like 5G appear, and if you move to a new city, the carrier with the “best” signal might be completely different from where you lived before. If you’re tired of receiving a terrible signal in your own home or constantly having slow speeds when you’re on the go, it might be time to look at other carriers – there are more options than you can get. think so.

Don’t Just Look At Coverage Maps – Dig Deep

Open signal via Whitson Gordon

Carriers love to brag about their coverage maps, covered in red, blue or purple dots to show you how many cities they serve. But the carriers themselves are hardly impartial and reliable sources, and coverage isn’t a binary thing – just because your city has a red or blue dot doesn’t mean the service will be optimal.

So if you are looking for a new carrier, get as much independent information as you can. OpenSignal, for example, is an app that allows users to submit speed and signal tests from anywhere in the country, so that you can see the price of one of the four major carriers on a map. (You can also run a quick speed test yourself to see how your connection stacks up and help fuel the data pool for others.)

Remember, coverage is only part of the equation. Signal strength, speed, and latency also matter a ton. OpenSignal covers these basics if you tap on Network Statistics and drag its results for a given location, but you can also look at things like PCMagthe annual coverage of the fastest mobile networks to get an idea of ​​how speeds can vary from city to city.

However, if you really want to dig deep, you’ll need to ask good, old-fashioned questions. See which carrier your friends are using, ask neighborhood Facebook groups, and see if your city or town has one. subreddit with experiences that you may be able to tap into. I’ve been to major US cities where my wife’s phone on one carrier would have full signal strength, where my identical phone on another carrier fluctuated wildly around town – coverage maps and crowdsourcing tools weren’t will not always be able to tell you things like this.

And remember, a carrier’s coverage can change over time, so if someone tells you it’s terrible in this area, ask them when they last used it. (My family is still married to Verizon due to AT & T’s poor rural coverage ten years ago – although AT & T’s signal in northern Michigan has improved significantly since then.) also be affected by the phone they use, so try looking for broader trends instead. than focusing too much on one opinion.

Look beyond the big three carriers

If you haven’t been on the MVNO train, it’s time to look beyond Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile and give it a try. all the other major carriers that are there. While the bulk of cell phone coverage in the United States uses these three networks, there are dozens of mobile virtual network operators (or MVNOs) that use the same towers while offering packages with pricing structures. cheaper or more unique. You’ve heard their names before – Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, Ting, Straight Talk and others have been around for several years. But if you cancel them as discount carriers with poor service, you risk missing out.


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