A mobile phone is considered a necessity in today’s technological world. This abundance of technology also means that we have many options when it comes to choosing the right cell phone carrier. These are some of the most important features to compare when choosing a phone service.


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Most mobile phone owners want something that is reliable, regardless of where they are located. It is important to evaluate the coverage of potential carriers in your location and in the locations that you travel to frequently. There are a lot of factors present that affect a phone’s coverage ability including 3G and 4G LTE connections. They are both wireless networks and 4G LTE is the newer and faster version.  If you are bringing a device with you to a new carrier, it is important to ensure that it shares the same frequencies on the new carrier. 

There are also CDMA and GSM bands to consider. These are two different cellular standards that are responsible for converting incoming and outgoing data. The biggest difference is that CDMA phones do not use SIM cards and these phones are specifically designed for a single carrier’s network. If you currently have a phone with CDMA connection, it is unlikely that you can bring it to a different carrier.


Data is responsible for keeping you connected. The exact amount of data that you need will depend on your phone uses. While you can use your phone at home with Wi-Fi, you will need a data plan if you want to access email and social media accounts from anywhere. The cost of data plans varies across wireless carriers. It is one of the most important factors to consider when evaluating potential cell phone carriers.

Choosing the wrong data plan or going with a carrier that does not have an affordable plan for the amount of data you use can be very expensive. If you are regularly going over your data plan and incurring large expenses, T-Mobile helps you switch phone carriers to a data plan that better suits your usage needs.

De-prioritization Threshold

This feature will really only affect you if you currently use large amounts of data on an unlimited plan. Many carriers will de-prioritize your data after a set limit, significantly slowing down your connection. Different carriers have varying de-prioritization thresholds, with the average being 32GB. One of the highest thresholds in the market today is set at 50GB by T-Mobile.

Payment Method

Your preferred payment method might also be an important feature to consider. Although you can make online payments across all of the largest cell phone carriers today, the payment requirements often differ. Some plans require that users prepay for their data, while others encourage automatic payments. If you have a preferred payment method, it might be worth it to compare payment method options. You can also take advantage of the monthly discounts for auto pay and prepay plan options.

Phone Ownership

Cell phone carriers usually offer multiple choices for purchasing a smartphone. A few of the most common methods include financing the phone, buying the phone outright, and leasing the phone. If whether or not you own your phone or lease it is of importance to you, this is another feature you will want to compare across carriers. Smartphones usually have to be replaced every couple of years so leasing is one of the most popular phone ownership options.

Additional Features

A perfect cell phone carrier is one that meets your individual user needs. There are additional features to consider including the ability to bring your own smartphone to a new carrier, the ability to stream HD videos, and hotspot capability. While most carriers offer these additional features, the cost and plan inclusion will differ across them.

There are four major cell phone carriers to choose from today. There are also many separate plans within the carrier’s offerings from which to choose. Make sure you are evaluating your individual cell phone data and connection needs. Choosing the right carrier is important in guaranteeing a reliable connection that is also affordable.

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