General Question

killerkadoogen's avatar

What are the differences in the mobile carriers?

Asked by killerkadoogen (418points) June 13th, 2010

Everyone is always saying this is better then that or this is the best.. I just want to know what the pros and cons are of the major mobile carriers… who knows the facts without the opinions?

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8 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

I have had T-Mobile, since 1998 when it was VoiceStream. i have been a loyal customer to T-Mobile because of many reasons, but mainly a live voice when i call their 611 number. T-Mobile is very customer-oriented and it shows in their evaluation by Consumer Reports Magazine. T-Mobile is the No. 2 mobile carrier in the United States. T-Mobile also has a heart, compared to some other carriers that do not. we had a death in the family and our minutes were just about to end with all the phone calls we had to make to the family members and funeral arrangements. i called and explained my situation. T-Mobile gave my wife and i both 50 extra bonus minutes at no charge. they did not have to do this, but its the little things that can make a big difference and T-Mobiles concern has kept us a steady customer.

In the early days of T-Mobile, many areas of the United States suffered from lack of coverage. wife and i have suggested new locations for transmitting towers and T-Mobile actually listened!

I will stay with T-Mobile. i have only had T-Mobile, since my first cellphone, so i really cannot give a comparison to the others. and no, i do not work for T-Mobile, but we are their second best loyal customer in longevity.

perspicacious's avatar

You can do your own research on this. There are huge differences in what is offered, and even differences in what a single company offers in different markets.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My first cell phone was with Sprint. I was with them for about 4 years or so and ended up switching to AT&T because of service coverage. Sprint didn’t have coverage in the area I moved to, but AT&T did. I was with AT&T for about the next 2 years and then ended up switching to Verizon because I had a lot of issues with AT&T’s customer service. I’ve been with Verizon for about 8 years now and I have no intention of switching at this point.

It’s a matter of finding the company that works best for what you need and where you are. Like @perspicacious said, you’ll want to research it by seeing what they offer for where you are. If you want to get a good side by side view of things, you could go to a store like Best Buy that sells all of them and start to get some information from them. They will have the basics of what each carrier provides for your local area. Then you can dig a little deeper from there.

Val123's avatar

Service is pretty much the same, and the industry is always catching up with the next guy when it comes to offering minutes and stuff. Having worked in the industry for four years I’d have to say the biggest differences that I’ve seen have been in the quality of customer service.

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Val123's avatar

@MayaLocke There are what are called “roaming agreements” between carriers. That means that if you have a plan that offers a “Nation-wide calling,” and if you get into an area where your company doesn’t have their own towers, they’ll “borrow” another carrier’s towers. Per the agreement, the Other Guys sell their air minutes at a cut rate, which is much less than the $.49 per minutes (or whatever) you’d be charged if you hadn’t bought into the roaming agreement (Which you did when you signed up for the “Nation wide calling” plan.) I’ve been out of it a long, long time, but I’m pretty sure that the four major carriers, the Big Guys, are now ATT, Verizon (Biggest), Altell and US Cellular (Less Big). All of the other guys, like Cricket and whomever, do not own their own towers. They’ve all signed roaming agreements with the Big Guys and use their towers. And pay a portion of their income to them.

By the same token, if you have service with one of the Big Guys, like US Cellular, and you go into an area, you’re going to be roaming off of Verizon, whether you know it or not. So basically, all the carriers have pretty much the same coverage because they borrow from others when the coverage isn’t there.

If you ever want to know whose towers your using, dial 611, or *611. The message will tell you who you’ve “contacted,” therefore whose service you’re using.

I’m pretty sure this info is correct, but I’ve been out of the industry for years and years. If anyone out there has different information that they’re SURE of, please weigh in!

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