A good provider is the first step to enjoying a great phone service. And great service is what you need to keep in touch with your distant relatives, friends, and business associates. But now that Sprint is out of the race, which is the best carrier between Verizon vs T-Mobile?
As you may know, these two are part of the now BIG THREE wireless providers here in the US. So, they offer more amazing features and perks compared to their mobile virtual network operators (or MVNOs).
In this review, we’re going to compare both T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to determine which will be perfect for you. All the information we’ve gathered is all current, including the browsing speeds you can expect with the new 5G network.
Verizon vs T-Mobile: a Quick Summary of the Wireless Phone Providers
|Founded||April 2000||December 1999|
|Total Subscribers||121.9 Million (by September 2021)||106.9 Million (by September 2021)|
|Type of Service||Postpaid and Prepaid||Postpaid and Prepaid|
|Frequency Bands||66, 13*, 5, 4, 2||71*, 66, 12*, 5, 4*, 2|
|Cheapest Phone Plan||$30||$15/ mo.|
|Carry-Over||YES [grandfathered plans]||YES [with Data Stash feature]|
|5G Download Speeds||Up to 4+Gbps||Up to 1+Gbps|
|5G Upload Speeds||Up to 250+Mbps|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call||YES||YES|
|Video Streaming Resolution||YES [up to UHD]||YES [Up to UHD]|
|Phone Unlock Period||After 60 days||After 40-365 days|
|Entertainment Perks||Free AMC+ Free Discovery+, Free Apple Music, Free Apple Arcade 600GB Cloud Storage, Free Google Play Pass, Free Hulu/ Disney+/ ESPN+||Free Netflix, Free Apple TV, Free Paramount+ Free Music Unlimited T-Mobile Tuesdays offers|
|Service Availability||Online & in-store||Online & in-store|
Is Verizon Any Good?
Verizon is the leading phone provider in the country and for a good reason. As a major carrier, it has its own cellular towers, thereby its direct subscribers will always get prioritization during congestion.
Furthermore, Verizon has the best coverage compared to the rest of the providers. It also has the fastest 5G service at the moment, counting up to 4+Gbps on the Ultra-Wideband spectrum.
As we mentioned when comparing Pure Talk vs Verizon, though, the CDMA carrier isn’t cheap to maintain. Hence, one of the reasons a lot of people has been turning on its MVNOs, such as Straight Talk and Total Wireless.
Latest News: Verizon has finally completed the deal on TracFone, which is the parent company of Total Wireless, Straight Talk, and others. So, we may see the tech giant leading the prepaid service as well.
Is T-Mobile any Good?
Indeed, T-Mobile is a great service if you’re within its coverage areas. Like Verizon, the provider runs on its own network infrastructure. Thus, will always prioritize its immediate customers before the MVNO when the network is too busy.
In terms of performance, T-Mobile supports HD voice and high browsing speeds. It also has various entertainment perks, including free Netflix, Paramount Plus, and Apple TV+ subscription.
Furthermore, you can get an absolutely free phone deal if you switch to T-Mobile and activate a new line. The offer includes even the latest 5G-capable phone brands like Samsung, OnePlus, and iPhones.
More on that, read on the full T-Mobile vs Verizon review below. We’ll compare the two rivals in terms of device compatibility, network coverage, 5G speeds, pricing, throttling, and mobile hotspot access.
Verizon vs T-Mobile: The Six Main Differences between the Phone Providers
In terms of device compatibility, T-Mobile should have all the points. As a GSM operator, it’s compatible with most unlocked cell phones, thanks to its multiple primary LTE bands (71, 12, & 4). Then, you can easily switch between devices by just swapping your SIM cards.
Meanwhile, you can also easily activate an unlocked phone with Verizon by yourself. In some cases, you can even swap your SIM card without the activation process and it picks signal. But we can’t recommend the approach for permanent use as it could have issues later on, especially when you lose your device or need customer care assistance.
It’s also worth noting that Verizon uses a single primary LTE band, 13. So, it’s not all unlocked phones from T-Mobile or AT&T that will be compatible.
As for the CDMA part, Verizon is in the process of retiring its old 3G and Non-VoLTE 4G network. Hence, the reason it now uses SIM cards, unlike in the past when the phone didn’t require any.
When we compare Verizon vs T-Mobile coverage, the former takes the full points. Of course, the two do have nationwide coverage, but that’s just a fancy word to say they’re in every state.
If you place Verizon vs T-Mobile coverage map side by side, you’ll notice the GSM network has quite many spotty areas. This is especially true in the Midwestern region, including the rural areas of Oregon and Idaho.
In the case of Verizon, the provider has the best coverage, including both the major towns and the remote places. Even on the coverage map, you’ll notice it’s more solid in the Midwestern region, including places like Idaho and Oregon. So, you might want to consider it over T-Mobile if you reside in the areas or happen to travel a lot.
Free 5G Access & Speeds
Similarly, Verizon leads in this category. Not only does it have the widest coverage, but also brings you the 5G for free and at a faster rate. If it’s the Ultra-Wideband, you can achieve up to 3000+ Mbps here in California, as well as in New York, Virginia, and many other States. In some cases, the network even peaks at 4+Gbps.
But again, many Verizon users have access to the newly-established 5G C-band. Thus, achieving between 300-1000+ Mbps download speeds and 39-100+Mbps on uploads.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile also has free access to the 5G service, and it was the first provider to offer it on the mid-band (including C-Band) spectrum. However, the Ultra-Capacity data speeds are relatively slower than Verizon’s Ultra Wide-Band.
As a matter of fact, most people get an average 560+Mbps on the download speed. But the speed test in various cities, including here in California and New York also showed you can achieve up to 1000+Mbps.
Phone Plans & Pricing
In the question of Verizon vs T-Mobile plans, you have to spend more on either network to get the best perks.
However, T-Mobile plans are relatively cheaper as you can get a pay-as-you-go deal, T-Mobile Connect, from as low as $15/ month. Then, the prepaid starts from $40/ month per line, as shown below.
|Features||10GB (Prepaid)||Unlimited (Prepaid)||Unlimited+ (Prepaid)||Essentials (postpaid)||Magenta (postpaid)||Magenta MAX|
|Regular Price||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$60/ mo.||$60/ mo.||$70/ mo.||$85/ mo.|
|Plan Discounts||$5 – $8 (2+ lines)||$10 – $16 (2+ lines)||$15 – $24 (2+ lines)||$15 – $36 (2+ lines)||$10 – $38 (2+ lines)||$15 – $45 (2+ lines)|
|Free 5G Access||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Premium Hotspot Data||10GB||Unlimited (3G speeds)||10GB (then 3G)||Unlimited (3G speeds)||5GB (then 3G)||40GB (then 3G)|
|Video Stream Quality||Up to HD||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 4K UHD|
|Canada/ Mexico Data||N/A||N/A||N/A||2G Data Speeds||5GB LTE (then 2G)||5GB LTE (then 2G)|
Although we didn’t include it on the chart, the $15 T-Mobile Connect plan is perfect for basic phones. It includes unlimited talk & text, plus 2GB of high-speed data, which the carrier promises to increase by 500MB each year.
Sadly, however, the pay-as-you-go plan doesn’t have throttling (to 2G speeds) after reaching the high-speed data allowance. So, you might want to consider the Simply prepaid, Essentials, Magenta, or Magenta MAX plan for continuous internet access.
But again, the Magenta MAX is the only “Truly” unlimited plan as the others will reduce your browsing speed after reaching the premium data allotment.
Verizon Now Has “Truly” Unlimited
The home page isn’t the only thing Verizon has made colorful in the new year, but also the service itself. If you’re a heavy data user, you can now get the Verizon Get More plan with unlimited premium data instead of the previous 50GB allowance.
Furthermore, Verizon has also increased the premium mobile hotspot data of various plans, as shown below.
|Features||5GB (prepaid)||15GB (prepaid)||Unlimited (prepaid)||Unlimited+ (prepaid)||Do More (postpaid)||Get More (postpaid)|
|Regular Price||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$65/ mo.||$75/ mo.||$80/ mo.||$90/ mo.|
|Plan Discounts||$5 – $15 (loyalty tip)||$5 – $15 (loyalty tip)||$5- $15 (loyalty tip)||$5 – $15 (loyalty tip)||$10 – $40 (2+ lines)||$10 – $40 (2+ lines)|
|Free 5G Access||YES (Nationwide)||YES (Nationwide)||YES (Nationwide)||YES (Both)||YES (Both)||YES (Both)|
|Data Allotment||5GB (then 2G)||15GB (then 2G)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Premium Mobile Hotspot||N/A||N/A||10GB (At $5/ mo.)||10GB (then 3G)||25GB (then slower)||50GB (then slower)|
|Video Stream Quality||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 4K UHD||Up to 4K UHD||Up to 4K UHD|
|Canada/ Mexico Calls||$5/mo.||FREE||FREE||FREE||FREE||FREE|
|Canada/ Mexico Data||N/A||N/A||0.5GB / Day (then 2G)||0.5GB / Day (then 2G)||0.5GB / Day (then 2G)||0.5GB / Day (then 2G)|
Typically, not all Verizon phone plans are expensive. In the table, you can see it’s possible to get the 5GB prepaid plan at $25 after the loyalty tip. The loyalty tip includes the discount after enrolling for the auto-pay and remaining active for at least ten months.
In the Infinity Mobile vs Verizon review, we also saw the CDMA operator has a basic phone plan that goes for $30/ month. But, of course, the plan is still more expensive and lesser in data allowance than T-Mobile pay-as-you-go.
In fact, you’ll notice the T-Mobile Magenta has double premium data of what the Verizon Do More, which sells around the same price, offers. So, the carrier might be a better choice if you need to save some bucks, assuming you’re within the coverage area.
Deprioritization & Throttling
For once, T-Mobile and Verizon have decided to level up here. As major carriers, they always prioritize their immediate subscribers. So, you’ll rarely experience excessive deprioritization.
Another thing, both providers now have a “Truly” unlimited plan that will never be slowed based on usage. Then, the rest of the plans will be throttled to slower speeds after reaching the premium data allotment.
Mobile Hotspot Data
Surprisingly, Verizon and T-Mobile also have similar mobile hotspot data distribution on the prepaid plans. That’s only the unlimited prepaid plan has the free hotspot data and is capped at 10GB, apparently.
But on the postpaid plans, T-Mobile has the premium hotspot data capped at 5GB on Magenta and 40GB with Magenta MAX. Once you reach this limit, your hotspot access is then slowed to unlimited 3G speeds.
On the other hand, Verizon postpaid has premium mobile hotspot data capped at 25GB with Play More and Do More plans, then the Get More at 50GB. After reaching this limit, your mobile hotspot access will then drop to unlimited 3Mbps when on 5G and 600kbps for the LTE network.
So, Verizon is the winner here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is T-Mobile better than Verizon?
In truth both T-Mobile and Verizon are great wireless phone services, considering they run on their own cell towers. However, T-Mobile is better than Verizon on the rate plans pricing and data allowance for their mid-range postpaid plan.
Is it worth switching from T-Mobile to Verizon?
If you won’t mind adding a few dollars, it’s no doubt worth it switching from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless. The CDMA provider not only has the widest coverage across the nation, but also the fastest 5G speeds that peak up to 4+Gbps.
Also, Verizon has more hotspot data access and entertainment perks, which can come in handy while away from home.
Who has the worst cell phone coverage?
In general, US Cellular has the worst cell phone coverage as it’s only focused its service on the Midwestern and Northwestern USA. But when comparing Verizon vs T-Mobile, the GSM network has a lesser coverage, especially in the Midwestern region.
Does T-Mobile use Verizon towers?
A quick answer, NO T-Mobile doesn’t use Verizon towers since it already has its own network infrastructure. The two carriers don’t even have roaming agreements, which is a major disadvantage to the users.
What’s the Best Service?
Well, both Verizon and T-Mobile are great cellular services. They have their own cell towers, which means you’ll have access to the major perks, including network prioritization and free entertainment subscriptions. And the best part is that you can even get the prepaid plans at reasonable prices, just like with the MVNOs.
Even so, Verizon is our favorite peak in the duel. Of course, T-Mobile is cheaper at some point and has easy device compatibility. But Verizon has wider coverage, faster browsing speeds, and more hotspot data access, which is very crucial in blogging on the go.