Best Cell Phone Service in Hawaii
How to Choose the Best Cell Service in Hawaii
With all the different carriers and types of plans on the market, you have plenty of options when you're shopping for new wireless service in Hawaii. Deciding on a plan typically comes down to what you need and your budget, but even when you find one that fits your needs, it's still good to shop around and compare what's out there. After all, there's no sense paying any more than you have to for your cell phone plan, and you may end up with a better deal for the same talk, text, and data limits. MyRatePlan focuses on simplifying the process of choosing your next cell phone plan, so you spend less time shopping and save more money. That's why we have a comparison tool featuring the best prices on a range of cell phones and all kinds of plans.
Cell Phone Coverage in Hawaii
Coverage quality is key when you're choosing a cell phone plan in Hawaii, so make sure to check out every carrier's coverage map in the city before you sign up for a plan. Picture this - you find a great, affordable plan and sign a two-year contract without doing your homework on the coverage. When you get home, the reception is poor and you can barely hear the other person when you're talking on the phone. Fortunately, this is a rare situation, as national carriers typically have strong coverage in almost all cities across the United States. But it's still worth checking the carrier's coverage in Hawaii first so you don't end up with a phone you can't use at home or work.
Cell Phone Plan Options in Hawaii
Many cell phone users have multiple purposes for their phones. In addition to regular calls, they want to send texts, browse websites, and use online apps. It's important for them to think about three major limits when comparing cellular plans. Carriers may enforce separate text, data download and minute caps. Keep in mind that the advertised limits usually pertain to domestic communication.
Numerous Hawaii residents utilize cell phones for the vast majority of their calls. Some even use them for all internet browsing and email. They usually need high minute and data caps. On the other hand, people with corded phones or computers might favor low-end cellular plans that are designed for occasional use. MyRatePlan makes it easy to compare providers that offer either type of service.
Cellular plans can be classified into three groups. They include family, contract-free and individual plans. The most flexible option is the no contract plan. It's also known as month-to-month, prepaid or pay-as-you-go. Many Hawaii stores sell prepaid wireless phones that people can begin to use at any time. The lack of a contract makes it easier to control costs and switch carriers when necessary. However, fees and cell phone prices tend to be higher than average.
Single-line contracts can only be used with one cell phone. Additional phones, tablets and notebook computers cannot communicate on the same plan. There's no need to worry about dividing up minutes or data among multiple devices. Single-line service is normally the least expensive choice for Hawaii residents who live alone or have family members who don't use cellular phones.
Another popular option is a shared or family plan. It's more costly than single-line service, but the per-line expense is lower. A single data cap applies to multiple devices and phones. For instance, a married couple's shared plan might come with 30 gigabytes of bandwidth. If the wife uses 12 gigabytes, the husband could still download 18 GB more. Any limits on texting or minutes will also collectively apply to all family members.
Most wireless contracts remain in effect for 12 to 24 months. Payments are usually made on a monthly basis. The contract terms normally require customers to pay large fees if they decide to cancel before the expiration date. Pay-as-you-go plans allow users to decide exactly how much they want to spend and when they want to cancel the service.
Which Cell Phone Plan Is Best For You in Hawaii
When you have to choose a new cell phone plan in Hawaii, it is a good idea to think about how many lines you will need and the type of additional services you want to include. Most service providers will factor three things into the plans that they offer: talk, text and data.
If you choose to go with a cheaper plan, you may end up having a limit on your talk and text messages. That is good for people who don't use their phones often. But those who talk on a daily basis and need access to their phone at all times should go with an unlimited plan. For those who choose a prepaid plan, you can either buy a refill card that offers minutes or go with an unlimited talk and text refill card that is offered by most (but not all) no-contract carriers.
Data is a major factor when it comes to choosing a plan these days. Most cell phone carriers in Hawaii will charge more for high amounts of data use. And while there are some unlimited data plans available, they tend to either have restrictions and limits, or they are extremely expensive. Most plans are priced per MB or GB used, in some cases, when you go over your data limit, you will be charged for overages. Therefore, it is important to choose a data plan that will meet your personal data usage needs.
Compare Cell Phone Carriers in Hawaii
All the major national carriers (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint) cover Hawaii. The city also has alternate, smaller carriers, referred to as MVNOs, available. The MVNOs use the larger carriers' networks, so coverage is still strong when you go with a smaller carrier.
AT&T has been one of the nation's largest wireless providers for decades. The carrier has all the plan options listed above, including individual, family, contract, and no contract plans.
Verizon Wireless has the same types of plans, with a slightly different selection process. The first thing you do with Verizon Wireless is choose your prepaid plan (if you're going no-contract) or your shared data plan, with each plan offering a different data limit. An individual or a family can make use of a shared data plan through Verizon Wireless, and each of those plans include unlimited minutes and text messages.
Sprint has the usual individual, family, and prepaid plans, but it separates itself from the pack with its unlimited data option. Unlike other carriers that throttle your data, Sprint has a real unlimited 4G LTE plan called Unlimited Freedom. It also has a unique type of family plan for friends and family, called the Better Choice Plan.
T-Mobile has nothing but no-contract plans, and chose to call itself the 'uncarrier' because of that. Offering both individual and family plans under its T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice plans, the carrier offers customers unlimited minutes and text messages, with data throttled at different limits depending on the plan you choose.
Use the MyRatePlan cell phone plan comparison tool above to compare different carriers and plans with service in Hawaii. We also include other smaller carriers (those aforementioned MVNOs) so you can see what every carrier offers.