How Much Does Consistent Cellphone Coverage Cost?

Woman frustrated with lack of cell phone coverage
fizkes /

There’s a reason why all the carriers like to brag about their coverage in their ads. Nothing can ruin your taste for a cellphone plan faster than bad coverage. But as with just about anything, getting the best comes with a price.

Having the best coverage often means buying a premium plan from one of the three major carriers. We’ll look at these plans to give you an idea of what having the most consistent coverage costs.


Big Red has had the best network coverage for years and has been well aware of it. It also charges some of the most expensive prices in the industry.

Verizon’s base Start Unlimited plan is priced at $70 per month for a single line.

The premium Get More Unlimited plan costs a whopping $90 per month but it does come with 50GB per month of priority data (you will not be slowed down until you exceed that threshold), free Apple Music and a free bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.

Verizon alternative

One way to get on the highly-touted Verizon network at bargain prices is to join the Verizon-owned Visible.

The Visible plan will get you unlimited talk, text and data on the nation’s best network for just $40 per month.


Sitting behind Verizon on the best network coverage lists is AT&T. You probably won’t have to pay as much to get on one of Big Blue’s plans, but it’s not going to be very much cheaper.

The AT&T Unlimited Starter plan is its base unlimited plan priced at $65 per month. On the flip side, the premium Unlimited Elite plan will cost you $85 per month.

AT&T alternative

For a slightly cheaper alternative to AT&T, take a look at its subsidiary Cricket Wireless. You can get an unlimited plan on the parent network for $50 per month with auto-pay.


The Un-carrier has placed behind AT&T and Verizon in coverage for some time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, its 4G LTE network is just barely behind AT&T’s.

To get the best of T-Mobile, you’ll have to pay at least $60 per month for the base Essentials unlimited plan or go all the way with the premium Magenta Plus for $85 per month.

T-Mobile alternative

The natural cheaper alternative is from its own Metro by T-Mobile.

You can get an unlimited talk, text and data plan on the same network for just $40 per month.

What about 5G?

You may have noticed that we didn’t factor in 5G networks here. That’s because, so far, carriers aren’t charging extra for 5G on their unlimited plans.

More importantly, 5G is still very much in its infancy as is nowhere near where it’s going to be in a couple of years.

Right now, the 5G that is somewhat widely available is only slightly better than 4G LTE.

Until 5G improves on a much bigger scale, you probably shouldn’t choose a carrier based solely on its 5G network.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.