AT&T Coverage Map: How AT&T Compares to Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint
AT&T’s network offers the third-best 4G LTE coverage in the country behind Verizon and T-Mobile, although it falls a mere 1% short of T-Mobile. The carrier’s 4G network covers 58% of the contiguous United States, while its 3G network covers 70% of the country—the best of the Big Four carriers (3G is the network that your phone falls back to when 4G coverage isn’t available). AT&T’s coverage map also extends to the MVNOs that operate on AT&T’s network, such as Cricket and FreeUp.
Our Coverage Map Compared to AT&T’s
You may notice a difference between our AT&T coverage map and the map on AT&T’s website—notably, that ours shows more gaps in coverage. This is because our map only shows 3G and 4G network coverage on AT&T’s main network, while AT&T’s map shows 2G and roaming coverage as well.
AT&T Coverage: The Good & the Bad
As with any carrier, there are pros and cons to going with AT&T for your next cell phone plan. Pros include generally great coverage, awesome perks on their unlimited plans, and international perks. The biggest downside of going with AT&T is the high price of their plans.
- AT&T has 58% 4G coverage of the contiguous United States and 70% 3G coverage.
- AT&T has the best latency experience, meaning they have the quickest network response time—an average of fewer than 60 milliseconds—out of the four main carriers.
- AT&T’s 3G network performs far better than Verizon and T-Mobile’s.
- AT&T is the second-fastest carrier, according to data from Root Metrics.
- AT&T has less 4G network coverage than Verizon and T-Mobile.
- Expensive plans.
- AT&T’s download and upload speeds fall far behind Verizon and T-Mobile’s.
- AT&T has the lowest video experience rating of the big four (video loading time, level of resolution supported, stalling, etc.) according to Open Signal.
Before committing to AT&T or an AT&T MVNO like Straight Talk or Cricket, you’ll want to ensure that you receive coverage in your area. You can do so by visiting our comparison engine and entering your talk, text, and data preferences, along with your street address where it says “Coverage Check.”
Where AT&T Has the Best Coverage
AT&T’s 3G and 4G networks cover a large portion of the country. The states with nearly perfect AT&T coverage include:
- Delaware: 99.99%
- Indiana: 99.99%
- New Jersey: 99.99%
Other states with superior coverage on AT&T’s network include:
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
By far, the state with the worst AT&T coverage is Alaska, which comes in at just over 11% coverage. Wisconsin similarly falls far behind many others with only 54% coverage. You may also notice spotty coverage in Washington and Utah.
The good news is that AT&T often has roaming agreements in many of these spotty areas, so you’ll still be able to make calls, send texts, and use data.
Who AT&T is Best For
Coverage isn’t the only thing that makes AT&T a great option: AT&T also offers a broad selection of feature-rich service plans, with extras like access to their WatchTV streaming app and unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada. Plus, the carrier sells a wide range of smartphones, available on interest-free device installment plans.
With the Unlimited & More plan, you get access to 35 channels of live TV and more than 15,000 on-demand shows and movies.
With Unlimited & More Premium plan, you get 35 channels, on-demand shows and movies, plus a subscription to Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Pandora, Amazon Music, or VRV with high definition video quality. This plan also includes 15GB of mobile hotspot.
Because of these streaming benefits, we think that AT&T is best for anyone who likes to stream movies and TV on their smartphones. AT&T is also a great choice for those who frequently travel throughout the country, because no matter where you go, you’ll get good coverage.
AT&T Coverage Vs Verizon
Verizon has a more robust 4G network than AT&T, with Verizon covering 70% of the lower 48 states to AT&T’s 58%. AT&T beats them when it comes to 3G coverage though.
According to Root Metrics performance tests, Verizon’s network is by far the best carrier of the big four. Verizon boasts faster download and upload speeds, as well as a better video experience, than AT&T. However, AT&T has a better latency experience, with the fastest response times, causing fewer network delays.
AT&T Coverage Vs T-Mobile
Technically, T-Mobile beats out the AT&T coverage map by 1% when it comes to 4G network coverage, with 59% of the country covered to AT&T’s 58%. However, it’s important to note that a large portion of T-Mobile’s coverage is comprised of their 600 MHz spectrum, which only select phones can access. Without the inclusion of T-Mobile’s 600 MHz spectrum, AT&T actually beats them out.
When it comes to 3G, AT&T wins by a significant margin. AT&T’s 3G network covers 70% of the country, while T-Mobile’s only covers 22%. T-Mobile’s lack of 3G coverage can be problematic if you’re somewhere where 4G service is limited.
AT&T Coverage Vs Sprint
AT&T’s coverage map crushes Sprint’s. Sprint’s 4G network only covers 27% of the country, which is about half the coverage that AT&T provides. According to data testing, Sprint’s network offers slower download and upload speeds than AT&T, and far worse latency, with the longest delays out of the main four carriers.
AT&T Cell Phone Plans
AT&T has a wide variety of service plans available, including unlimited data plans, family plans, prepaid plans, and more. Their plans tend to be a bit pricey, though they come backed by a premier network and additional bells and whistles, like streaming subscriptions, mobile hotspot allotments, and international benefits. It’s important to note that after 22GB of usage on an unlimited data plan from AT&T, your access to unlimited data may be deprioritized.
Check out the list of AT&T plans below:
If you’re looking for a more affordable plan that still runs on AT&T’s network, you may want to check out some of the plans offered by AT&T MVNOs. They don’t typically offer as many perks, but they’re generally much cheaper than plans on AT&T.