Best Cell Phone Service in Virginia
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How To Choose The Best Cell Provider in Virginia
When they look for cell phone service, people in Virginia have a number of plans and providers to consider. It's not difficult to find a company that delivers all of the desired cellular services. Nevertheless, people need to consider what features they truly need and determine realistic spending limits. Although many plans seem desirable at first glance, cell phone users who perform research often find more affordable alternatives that provide similar services. It's wise to compare an appealing plan with alternatives from a variety of reputable providers. Be sure to carefully examine the features, limits and prices of each service. Many people find that this becomes a time-consuming research project. The good news is that MyRatePlan can simplify and expedite the comparison process. Users can view numerous carriers' prices on a single website.
Virginia Cell Phone Coverage and Reception
Coverage is one of the key issues when it comes to cell phone carriers in Virginia. Sure, you could find a company that offers a very low rate for their phone and service, but what good will it do you if the phone doesn't get a reliable signal in your area? You don't want to be dealing with dropped calls and sketchy signals the entire time you use your cell phone. One bright spot is that most national carriers compete for cell phone coverage, so they all offer quality service in most cities. This means that most carriers will offer coverage in your area that fits your needs. Use the coverage maps that the carriers offer when you begin looking for a reliable cell phone plan that has coverage in Virginia.
Types of Cell Phone Plans in Virginia
If you're like most consumers in Virginia, you use your cell phone for calls, text messages, and mobile data. That means that when you shop for wireless service, you have to consider the minutes, texts, and data available through each plan.
It's becoming more and more common for people to use their cell phones as their primary or even their only phone. If you've chosen to do the same, then it's even more important to find a plan that suits your needs. Even if you already have a carrier and a plan, it's possible that by looking up other plans you'll find a better deal. When shopping for a wireless plan, you can look for individual, family, or no contract plans.
Individual plans include one phone line for one device, with a set minutes, text message, and data allotment. If you are unmarried with no kids, then you'll probably be looking at an individual plan.
With family plans, you get a phone line for each family member, and each family member can get whatever phone they want. Since there are more phone lines, family plans cost more than individual plans, but they're cheaper on a per-line basis. Family plans may have separate minutes, texts, and data for each family member, or everyone could share those, so check that whatever plan you get has enough of everything.
No contract plans go by many other names, depending on the carrier, including prepaid, pay-as-you-go, and month-to-month plans. You pay for the features you want in advance, and you aren't tied to any contracts. Because of that, phone prices are significantly higher unless you choose a basic phone. You can likely get the latest smartphones on a no contract plan in Virginia, but expect to pay a premium, or not be able to finance the phone.
Contract plans are almost always for two years, although you can occasionally find a carrier with a one-year option. You pay your phone bill monthly, and must pay for the entire length of the contract. While you can cancel your plan early, you'll end up with an early termination fee. The carrier bases that fee on the amount left on your contract and includes a penalty along with it.
What Wireless Plan Is Best For You in Virginia
When you're choosing a plan, you should consider how many individuals are going to be on the plan as well as what kinds of services you want to throw in there. Most carriers are going to factor only three things into your plan: talk, text, and data.
With prepaid plans, you'll load the wireless card with money to pay for the minutes, and these can be bought simply by the minute or as an entire package by itself. For instance, this could be 500 minutes for $30. Once those minutes are gone, you'll have to add more on.
Data usage is a large factor in how you're going to pick your plan now. Most of the carriers in Virginia will charge large sums for a high amount of data usage, and there aren't really any unlimited data plans for wireless. Plans tend to be priced per megabyte and gigabyte. There are cases where going above your data limit will make it so you're charged outrageous overages. If you don't want this, then you'll have to choose a data plan that covers all of your data usage needs.
Compare Cell Phone Carriers in Virginia
The large carrier networks in Virginia include: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint. There are also smaller carriers available, which are called MVNOs, but they still usually operate on at least one of the larger carrier's networks.
AT&T is among the largest wireless providers in the nation and boasts an extensive lineup of plans. It has individual and family plans available, and you can get a plan with or without a contract.
Verizon Wireless also provides individual plans, family plans, and no-contract plans. When you obtain service with Verizon, you start the process by choosing either your prepaid plan or shared data plan. Shared data plans are available for individual or family use. They include a set data limit along with unlimited minutes and text messages.
Sprint has all the standard phone plans and a more expansive version of the family plan with its Better Choice Plan, which is for friends as well as families. One of Sprint's best features is its data, as it is one of the few carriers with unlimited 4G LTE data. If you have an unlimited data plan, Sprint never throttles your data.
T-Mobile has branded itself the 'uncarrier,' and its entire lineup is no-contract plans. It has individual and family plans available, and its two main plan lines are T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice. These plans offer unlimited everything for a set monthly price, although T-Mobile does throttle data when you reach your plan limit.
Smaller MVNO cell carriers can also be good choices, even if they aren't as well-known as the national brands. Smaller cell carriers run on the networks of larger carriers so you will likely have service in Virginia. Our cell phone plan comparison tool above lets you compare major carriers and MVNOs.