Find and compare the best cell phone plans in Tennessee at Wirefly. Which cell phone carrier has the best coverage in your area? Click the carrier logos below to launch their coverage maps. Then, use our tool below to compare the price and features of each carrier’s plans. Smaller carriers and MVNOs typically run on the networks of one of the big four carriers you see below.
Although Tennessee residents had relatively few choices at one time, various carriers now offer a tremendous variety of cell phone plans. It has become relatively easy to find affordable services with desirable features. Nonetheless, it's important for people to think about what they actually need and the amounts they can afford to pay. Some plans might look appealing at first, but a little research may reveal equivalent options that cost considerably less.
Cell phone subscribers often end up using the same providers for many months or years. It's worth making an effort to carefully compare a wide range of plans before selecting a company. This can take a long time when people manually check the rates of different services. Wirefly makes this process faster and easier. It automatically compares various plans and helps users identify the most desirable options.
Cellular phone reception in Tennessee
A primary component to consider when choosing which mobile phone plan to enroll in Tennessee is the reception quality. Identify the mobile phone company with the strongest reception throughout Tennessee before you make your ultimate choice. You might not have to pay much for a particular cellular phone package, but that won't help you much if your reception is limited in your location. Fortunately, most countrywide services have strong signal strength in nearly all major cities in the United States, so it's likely that their reception will be strong in Tennessee too. Review the provider's coverage maps to estimate how far their reception reaches.
Types of cell phone plans
The hallmark of a great plan is flexibility. Most cellphone users want a customizable plan that will allow them to pay for only the data they need, the texts they send and the minutes they use. All cell phone plans include some combination of talk time, texts and data. Some offer a la carte options as well.
If you're like thousands of other Americans, you rely on your cell phone for nearly all of your communication needs. This is why it is imperative to select a plan that's perfect for you and your usage needs in Tennessee. Use Wirefly to compare a wide variety of carriers and plan types and learn how much you can expect to spend. You may even same some money over the plan you currently use. Cell phone plans generally fall into one of these three categories: individual, family and no-contract.
Individual plans have a single line item that reflects the total charges for voice, text and data for a single phone. This plan is best for single people with no children or spouse.
If you do have a family and want everyone to be on the same wireless plan, consider a family. These offer family members to have their own device and unique coverage allowances. These can be pricey, but are worth it if you have multiple phone lines. They allow families to share data, text messages and minutes. Choose a plan that can adequately meet the needs of everyone in your family.
No-contract plans give you the benefit of great coverage without the hassle of being locked in. Also known as pay-as-you-go, no-contract plans used to mean buying a pre-paid card and loading it onto your phone. Now, phones themselves are pre-paid. You can purchase a prepaid phone in most major department stores in Tennessee. The cost of the phone covers the data, texts and minutes you use. You may be charged additional fees if you exceed your limits. Most of these phones are fairly expensive so that all your usage can be covered. You can typically find the latest smartphones in pre-paid versions.
Most phone contracts last a minimum of 24 months, but there are some you can get for just 12 months. Payment is due on a month-to-month basis, but you have to pay for the whole life of the contract. You cannot break the contract early unless you pay a hefty termination fee. This fee includes a percentage of the outstanding amount on your contract plus penalties.
Choosing a wireless plan that works best for you
When you are searching for a wireless plan, you will need to consider who will all be using the plan and the different services that you will need to include. Almost all cell phone carriers factor three things into each plan: minutes, text messages, data usage in MB or GB.
When you choose a cheaper plan, you can set a limit on how many minutes and text messages you can use to about 400 or less. But if you talk on the phone a lot and send multiple text messages, an unlimited plan will be the best bet. When you choose a no contract plan, you'll be loading your wireless card with cash that will pay for the minutes. These can be purchased by the minute or bought as a package. For example, 1,000 minutes for a flat rate of $40 is a typical purchase. When your minutes are used up, you'll need to add more to your plan.
The amount of data you use is another big factor in how to pick a cell phone plan. Almost all carriers in the Tennessee area charge higher amounts for high data usage, and there are basically no plans that allow for unlimited data. Cell phone plans are usually priced per gigabyte and megabyte. With many plans, going over the data limit per month can occur and will cost you in overages. To avoid this, choose a data plan that will be enough for yours or your family's needs.
Finding the best cell phone plan for your needs
Now that you know which kind of cell phone plan you want, it's now time to make another important decision: what do you need each month in terms of minutes, text messages, and data? This used to be a slightly complex decision to have to make, but that is no longer the case due to changes in the wireless industry. Current cell phone plans have almost all dropped limits on calling minutes and texts messages. Postpaid family plans and individual plans at Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, all include unlimited talk and text. Only a small number of no contract prepaid plans still enforce limits.
The good news is that you can choose to look at only the amount of data that you need on a monthly basis. Two of the major carriers make this decision pretty simple, while two of the other major carriers require a bit more decision making before choosing a plan. Here's what to keep in mind when selecting a cell phone plan in Tennessee:
Like T-Mobile, Sprint recently unveiled a flat-rate, all-unlimited mobile plan for new and existing subscribers. Customers who prefer not to get an unlimited plan can opt for a 'shared' amount of data that can be used by all lines attached to the account. By default, data speeds on limited plans slow down after all data has been used. Customers can buy a high-speed pass if they wish to have more full-speed data until the end of the month, however.
The Un-Carrier, as T-Mobile has dubbed itself, recently made a move toward unlimited data for all. The company added to its Simple Choice plan lineup with T-Mobile ONE, an unlimited, single plan for individuals or families. T-Mobile Simple Choice plans are still available for customers who prefer them, however. These plans feature data rollover and no overage charges, so there's no extra fees added to the bill based on your usage.
Verizon got rid of overages early in 2016 and started offering rollover data for its shared data plans. Verizon's plans are similar to AT&T's, however an unlimited data option is not available to new customers at all.
AT&T offers unlimited data only to customers who also have DIRECTV or AT&T Internet. Otherwise, customers have shared data plans with every line on their account. In 2016, AT&T introduced a no-overages policy that throttles data to 2G speeds when a data bucket is exhausted. The company also has its 'Stream Saver' service in 2016, which reduces the quality of all streaming video and uses data more slowly as a result.
Smaller prepaid carriers, called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), usually operate on one of the four above networks and resell services to no-commitment customers. These plans cover Tennessee and change very frequently, but they do often represent a good savings each month.
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