Choose a wireless carrier below to begin your comparison – Postpaid and Prepaid

In choosing what wireless rate plans or service are right for you, you must first decide if you want “Postpaid Service” or “Prepaid Service”background3

Postpaid wireless services, usually requires a credit check and a contract. The Wireless Carrier typically subsidizes the cost of the handset to reduce your cost from normal retail price to usually $100 or less. In exchange for them lowering the price of your handset, you must agree to a 24 month contract with the carrier and pay them an early termination fee that could be up to $400.

Prepaid wireless services do not require credit checks and there are no contracts. You pay for the service up front, every month. If you do not pay your bill for the upcoming month, your service will be shut off. Prepaid Carriers charge you the full retail price for the cell or smart phone. Because they are not “subsidizing” the phone, they can charge you lower rates for service. because they are not putting up any of their cash for the phone, and passing the actual cost onto you the consumer, they do not need to lock you into a contract as well.

All wireless carriers today offer basic services, usually included at no extra charge, with all of their wireless service plans.

  • Basic Voicemail with voice mail indicator
  • Caller ID
  • Call Waiting
  • 3 Way Calling and Call Forwarding.

The Big 4 USA Wireless Carriers – Offer Both Postpaid & Prepaid Phones and Rate Plans

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Technology behind each of the Big 4 Wireless Networks

  • Verizon: CdmaOne, CDMA2000 1xRTT EV-DO Rev 0, Rev A, 700/1700 MHz LTE
  • Sprint: CdmaOne, CDMA2000 1xRTT, 1x Advanced, EV-DO Rev 0, Rev A
  • AT&T: GSM-850/1900 (GPRS, EDGE), 850/1900 MHz UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+, 700/1700/1900 MHz LTE
  • T-Mobile: GSM-1900 (GPRS, EDGE), 1900 MHz/AWS UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+, 700/1700/1900 MHz LTE
  • US Cellular: CdmaOne, CDMA2000 1xRTT, EV-DO Rev 0, Rev A, 700/850 MHz LTE

New Phone Activation – Billed Monthly

  • When you switch carriers you often get the best deal on new phones.
  • You can keep your current cell phone number and move it to your new carrier
  • Usually requires a new contract with the new carrier of approximately 24 months
  • By agreeing to a new, two-year contract you are eligible for subsidized phone prices which means saving hundreds or getting free phones
  • Getting new service with a new carrier often requires a credit check.
  • Bad Credit checks can lead to the requirement of a Deposit to open an account
  • Carriers that offer these Incentives: Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T

Prepaid Wireless Carriers and Plans

The Major Prepaid USA Wireless Carriers – Offer Prepaid Phones and Rate Plans

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Carriers include not only the Big 4 like Verizon, but also MVNO’s.

MVNO means Mobile Virtual Network Operators – and they include carriers such as

  • Boost (Sprint Network) uses CDMA / LTE
  • Cricket Wireless (AT&T Network) uses GSM 850/1900, UMTS 850/1900, LTE
  • Jitterbug (Verizon Network) uses CDMA 1900
  • MetroPCS  (T-Mobile Network) GSM 850/1900, UMTS 1700/1900, LTE band 4
  • Net10 (AT&T and T-Mobile Networks) GSM 850/1900, UMTS 1700/1900, LTE (Nano Sims),UMTS 850/1900, LTE bands 17/4
  • Straight Talk  (AT&T and T-Mobile Networks) GSM 850/1900, UMTS 1700/1900, LTE (Nano Sims),UMTS 850/1900, LTE bands 17/4
  • TracFone (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile Networks) GSM, CDMA, LTE
  • Virgin Mobile (Sprint Network) CDMA, WiMAX, LTE band 25

Keeping your number is possible, but not certain, check with each carrier

No Contract Required, No Credit Checks, No Activation fees

Prepaid Carriers do not “subsidize their phones”.  In other words, you pay the retail price for the phone. No Free Phones
Coverage and Features are limited with Regional Prepared carriers like Cricket.
Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS, T-Mobile Monthly 4G are strongest prepaid options

View and Compare Wireless Rate Plans From Over 14 Wireless Companies