If you already have Spectrum broadband, the provider also has a cellular service that can help cut down your phone bill. The featured cell phone plans start from a low $14 per gig per month. But then, is the service worth it? If yes, why is the service good? And most importantly, what network does spectrum mobile use?
Indeed, it’s very important to know the network behind your desired phone operator even before joining. Otherwise, you could end up subscribing to a service that leaves much to be desired.
As for this case, Spectrum Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO): a phone provider that doesn’t have cell towers.
In this article, we’ll be looking at whose towers the MVNO has been running on lately, and what that means to you. We’ll also look at the various ways you can connect with your phone while outside the dedicated coverage areas.
Spectrum Cable is a MUST for the Mobile Service
Most of the MVNOs across the country are usually prepaid, where you’re always free to join and leave at any time. It’s also the case with BIG carriers Verizon and T-Mobile, albeit the postpaid will run a credit check before you get approved.
In the case of Spectrum Mobile, it’s only possible to sign up if you already have Spectrum cable internet. And since the broadband service is postpaid, they will pull a soft credit check to make sure you can meet your monthly bill.
Nonetheless, Spectrum Mobile is prepaid on its two unlimited plans. The By the Gig plan and add-on service bundles are the only postpaid phone options.
Speaking of bundles, once with Spectrum Mobile, you can continue to use the phone even after you drop the Internet or TV bundle. But in doing so, your phone bill will attract a $20 surcharge fee.
Spectrum Mobile has Just Added eSIM Support!
Select smartphones compatible with Spectrum Mobile are now eligible for eSIM activation. It may not seem like a big deal for many people. But the feature allows you to activate your device instantly without having to wait for a physical SIM card.
Even better, the eSIM feature now means you can enjoy Dual-SIM functionality on even phones that usually have a single SIM slot.
As a matter of fact, the new iPhone 14 (US version) that launched the other day doesn’t have a physical SIM card. It relies solely on eSIM to work. And if guessed right, this is possibly the reason Spectrum and other MVNOs have made efforts to introduce the feature.
Another reason Apple’s innovation decision is why the Charter company has introduced eSIM is the list of eligible devices. The list currently covers only the users with iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone SE (2022 Edition), and iPhone 12 series. No luck if you have an Android smartphone or LTE iPhones (iPhone SE 2nd-Generation, plus iPhone 11 and earlier models).
But again, it won’t be surprising to see Spectrum Mobile adding only iPhones to the upcoming list of other eSIM -eligible phones. The carrier (kind of) has a strong bond with the brand as, yet again, only Apple watches have access to its add-on smartwatch plan.
What Network Does Spectrum Mobile Use Here in the Country?
Now, the network that Spectrum Mobile uses to connect mobile and smartwatches varies with the location. As was mentioned, the Phone provider does not have its own network infrastructure. It resells the network of the main carrier.
The main carrier network of Spectrum Mobile is Verizon. And as you should know, the major carrier usually shares its coverage benefits With its MVNOs.
So, just like with Straight Talk and Total Wireless, your Spectrum Mobile phone will be usable in most parts of the country. And that includes metropolises, plus when outside the cities, including places where T-Mobile tends to struggle, such as Oregon, Madison, and Toledo.
Also, this partnership with Verizon means Spectrum will use frequency bands 2, 4, 5, 13, and 66 to offer LTE service. Band 13 usually has an extended range, whereby it offers wide coverage and penetration through walls. Then Band 66 has the wide-capacity spectrum with the fastest data speeds (but at a shorter coverage and poor penetration in walls).
In the case of 5G, Spectrum Mobile uses Bands N2, N5, and N66 for the low-band spectrum and Bands N77, N260, and N261 for Ultra-Wideband signals. And similar to LTE, low-band 5G connectivity offers extended-range frequency, with wide coverage and penetration through the walls. Then the Ultra-Wideband doesn’t travel very far but has the fastest data speeds.
In the data speeds part, a recent test through Spectrum Mobile Ultra-Wideband peaked at 1325Mbps. Some people even claim to hit to 2000+Mbps, and either is faster than T-Mobile Ultra- Capacity (mmWave)at 1100Mbps.
Spectrum has Priority Data & Free Ultra-Wideband Count
If possible to try other MVNOs on the Verizon network, you’ll come to notice Spectrum Mobile has better data speeds than most. The reason for this is that the brand has the same deal Xfinity made with Verizon to be getting prioritized data.
You can put the theory to the test with a Spectrum Mobile, Straight Talk, Visible, and Verizon (postpaid) phone. And what you’ll notice is that when running a speed test with the individual phone, you’ll get the standard range of the particular carrier. But when the test is running on all the phones together, the Spectrum and Verizon devices will record faster speeds than the others.
However, Spectrum Mobile (kind of) has the prioritized deal on only the unlimited plans as the By-the-Gig plan drops speed during congestion.
But same as Xfinity and Verizon, operations run on Spectrum Mobile on the 5G Ultra-Wideband don’t count towards the monthly allotment. Your usage only counts from the monthly allowance when using LTE or the regular 5G.
What Network Does Spectrum Mobile Use While Outside the Verizon Coverage?
Even with the widest cellular coverage in the country, Verizon still has several areas without a stable connection. In some cases, you’ll have no signal at all, unless you’ve enabled the roaming function on your device.
Spectrum Mobile does support roaming functionality when outside the Verizon native coverage. It has an international roaming function in Canada, Mexico, and other 200+ destinations at competitive rates (from as low as $0.001).
Even better, you can get domestic roaming, which is something Visible, a brand of Verizon, currently doesn’t have. I’m not sure exactly what network Spectrum Mobile uses to roam locally, but I’d believe it’s from LTEiRA partners.
Spectrum Mobile WiFi Hotspots & WiFi Calling
In addition to domestic and international roaming, Spectrum Mobile has millions of WiFi hotspots across the country. The hotspots are usually free to access, whereby a powerful smartphone can achieve up to 20-50Mbps speeds on good days.
Better yet, Spectrum Mobile supports WiFi calling and texting if you have a supported smart device. But the feature is usually available by request: you have to call Spectrum first to get activated with your service.
Common Related Questions
Is spectrum or Verizon better?
In a nutshell, the answer to this question is subjective as it depends on the current situation. The following is a summary of both wireless phone providers.
|eSIM Support||YES||YES (limited to 5G iPhones)|
|5G Data Speeds||Up to 4000+Mbps||Up to 2000+Mbps|
|4G Data Speeds||Up to 355Mbps||Up to 110+Mbp|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$30||$14|
|Unlimited data||YES (without a cap)||YES (with a cap)|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call||YES||YES|
|Phone Unlock Period||After 60 Days||After 60 Days|
|Extra Perks||Free Hulu/ Disney+/ ESPN+/ Discovery+, Free Apple Music, Free Apple Arcade, 600GB Cloud Storage, Free Google Play Pass, & Free Travel Pass||Free unlimited Spectrum WiFi Hotspots|
Spectrum is better than Verizon if you’re looking for an affordable cell phone service. You get to pay as low as $14/ GB to $39/ line for the unlimited plan with 30GB premium data. Then there are millions of free WiFi hotspots across the country, plus priority data and ultra-Wideband speeds like Verizon.
However, Verizon is much better than Spectrum if you need full access to eSIM benefits, plus unlimited data and a mobile hotspot with no cap. It also has free international roaming, 600GB of cloud storage, streaming subscriptions, and amazing free phone deals.
Does spectrum Mobile use GSM or CDMA?
We could say Spectrum Mobile will use CDMA technology since it’s run on the Verizon network. But as of now, the major carriers have discontinued the old 3G connectivity that relied on GSM and CDMA protocols.
What carrier phones work with Spectrum mobile?
The only carrier phones that work with Spectrum Mobile before unlocking are those from Verizon. The devices from other carriers will need to be fully unlocked and also have the Spectrum primary LTE bands 13/ 66 and N77/ N260/ N261 for 5G.
Spectrum Mobile coverage map vs Verizon
When you compare Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon coverage map, you’ll notice they’re both about the same. Verizon is the carrier network of Spectrum and also happens to share the domestic roaming partners in the country.
International Roam is Now ON by Default
Whether you just wanted to know about coverage or join with your phone, Verizon is the network Spectrum Mobile use. The subcarrier has one of the best deals with the major Carrier as you also get priority data and Ultra-Wideband usage for free.
Furthermore, the Spectrum Mobile service has free WiFi Hotspots and domestic roaming when outside the Verizon native coverage areas. So, you’ll always have a working phone in most parts of the country.
If traveling outside the U.S., Spectrum Mobile also has international roaming at a competitive rate. And as of today, this feature now come automatically enabled, unlike before you’d have to contact customer care to activate it.