Are you considering switching carriers as you are considering upgrading to iPhone 14? With strong competition in the market, major US carriers offer compelling incentives for new customers. Below, we’ll focus specifically on T-Mobile and Verizon including how they compare in speed, how to find real-world coverage maps, how to test both carriers for free on the spot with an iPhone eSIM, and more.
T-Mobile vs Verizon: Which carrier is best for you?
T-Mobile and Verizon’s coverage maps will look solid on their websites, so here are some tips for how your coverage really will be:
- Check coverage with the third-party standalone Opensignal app
- Opensignal gets real-time data from millions of devices and billions of measurements
- Get a quick coverage comparison with Signalchecker
- Take a free trial of an eSIM to test coverage (available with T-Mobile and Visible/Verizon)
- Talk to friends, family or people at work who use the carrier you are considering
While Verizon has had the most customers (and still has) along with the widest coverage over the past decade, T-Mobile has gained a lot of ground with its acquisition of Sprint and its rapid 5G rollout. That means Verizon is playing catch-up with T-Mobile on 5G coverage as it rolls out more mid-band spectrum.
However, Verizon launched 5G UWB coverage in 1,700 US cities earlier this year and recently won first place for good performance in a JD Power study.
- Verizon has the fastest top speeds if you have 5G UWB coverage anywhere
- T-Mobile has the fastest average 5G speeds with larger mid-range coverage
Like coverage, carrier speed will depend on a combination of factors like your location, device, signal strength, network congestion, and more.
If you live in a metro area versus a small town, the speeds can be very different. Verizon leads with the fastest speeds of 1,000+ Mbps if you have 5G UWB coverage, but T-Mobile currently has greater availability with its moderately faster mid-range 5G network.
Here’s a look at how the three major carriers compare average speeds in the US in studies from Ookla and Opensignal as of summer 2022:
Opensignal’s results show average 5G download speeds in the US as of the second quarter of 2022.
Free and instant eSIM trials
Although it has been difficult to try a new carrier in the past, eSIM support on iPhone and other smartphones has opened up a new possibility.
T-Mobile and Visible (Verizon) are leveraging the technology so customers can instantly test their networks for free alongside their existing carrier.
With eSIM experiences, you can see the current carrier signal and the one you’re testing simultaneously. You can decide to continue using your existing phone number and phone calls while using your cellular data trial.
T-Mobile vs Verizon: Price
This summer Verizon launched an unlimited plan that’s affordable, but it still isn’t as cheap as T-Mobile.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile has added easy-to-use new perks such as free global data, flight data, and more.
Although we’ve seen a slight price increase from Verizon this year, strong competition has kept prices mostly close between the two.
However, as T-Mobile promotes, they typically offer 20% lower rates for their unlimited plans compared to Verizon. T-Mobile also includes taxes and fees in their published rates.
Keep in mind that these prices can change based on the number of lines you need.
|Unlimited basic||$26.25/per automatic payment phone and 4 lines||$30 per autopay phone and 4 lines –
$10-25 Gross Account Deduction for Army/Vet/First Responder
|Unlimited promotion||$35 / per phone with automatic payment system and 4 lines
$25 per military phone/vet/first responder with 4 lines
|$35-45 per phone with automatic payment and 4 lines – $10-25 total account deduction for Army/Veterinarian/First Responder|
|Unlimited Premium||$42.50 for auto-pay phone and 4 lines
$35 per military/vet/first responder phone with 4 lines
|$55/phone with auto pay and 4 lines – $10-25 total account deduction for Army/Vet/First Responder|
Incentives and deals
Both carriers (at the time of writing) are offering up to $800 to trade in when you buy a new device. But T-Mobile is the most aggressive, coming in at $650 for an early termination fee or covering an existing device balance.
Both also include a free video streaming service with some unlimited plans. And Verizon offers more than just a Disney+ bundle. On the unlimited plan, you can get additional privileges like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and more.
Meanwhile, Uncarrier makes “T-Mobile Tuesdays” to give regular perks and savings to customers.
Verizon and T-Mobile offer up to 50% off 5G home internet for their cellular customers.
Best affordable alternatives to major carriers
If lowering the cost of your phone bill is a priority, check out our full guide on the best affordable iPhone packages.
We go over the major networks each provider uses, key features, and more with plans starting at just $10 a line.
Conclusion T-Mobile vs Verizon
It’s hard to pick one winner who’s the best of all when it comes to T-Mobile and Verizon. But here are some advantages of each that may help you think about your priorities:
- Fastest average speeds (Opensignal and Ookla studies)
- Affordable pricing
- Attractive Incentives to Switch
- Significantly improved coverage over the past few years
- Unlimited plans starting at $26.25 per line – taxes and fees included
- High-quality performance (recent study on JD Power)
- Great comprehensive coverage
- Highest speeds when 5G UWB is available
- New Unlimited plan starting at $30 per line
We hope you now have a clear picture of how the major carriers compare, how to check real-world network coverage, and start a hassle-free eSIM experience (T-Mobile or Verizon through Visible). Thank you for reading our guide on T-Mobile vs Verizon!
If you’re interested in seeing how AT&T compares to T-Mobile and Verizon, we’ve got a guide that includes it too:
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