It’s important for anyone looking for the best cell phone coverage in their area to do a cell phone coverage map comparison. The last thing you want to do when shopping for cell phone service is purchase one that provides you with no coverage.
By comparing our Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint coverage maps , you can take a big step towards choosing the right cell phone plan for you.
Best Cell Phone Coverage
|Carrier||% of Nationwide 4G LTE Coverage||% of Nationwide 3G Coverage||# of States w/ >90% coverage||Coverage Rating|
We might be stating the obvious, but Verizon really does have the best cell phone coverage in the country. Verizon’s claim to the throne is supported mainly by their dominance in 4G coverage where they beat out their closest competitor (T-Mobile) by 11 percentage points.
T-Mobile and AT&T are nearly tied for second place, but AT&T’s exceptional 3G coverage slightly puts them over the edge.
Sprint comes in last among the four major carriers. Their 4G network coverage falls well behind competitors.
Verizon Coverage Map
When comparing Verizon’s coverage map to the other major carriers’ maps. It’s easy to see why their network is continually named the best in the nation. Verizon’s coverage map shows a country with very few areas that aren’t covered by the nation’s most robust network. Whether you’re in a large metropolitan city or a rural area, With a 4G network that reaches about 70% of the country and a 3G network that reaches around 62% Verizon’s coverage outshines its competitors with the next best networks not even reaching 60% of 4G coverage.
For more details, check out our in-depth comparison of Verizon’s coverage map.
T-Mobile Coverage Map
T-Mobile’s coverage may not be the greatest, especially compared to Verizon’s, but their network is certainly not the worst. In fact, along with AT&T, T-Mobile sits right in the middle of the pack with 4G coverage that reaches about 59% of the country. Looking at T-Mobile’s coverage map, you’ll certainly notice some bare areas. T-Mobile has room to improve in rural areas while they are somewhat strong in metropolitan areas.
See more in our detailed look and comparison of T-Mobile’s coverage map.
AT&T Cell Phone Coverage Map
Covering about 58% of the country, AT&T’s 4G network spans just slightly less than T-Mobile’s, but don’t let that fool you. With AT&T’s 3G network factored in, you’ll find that AT&T’s coverage map is pretty full. Where all four major carriers tend to do well in more populated urban areas, AT&T benefits from strong service in rural areas where they are only outshined by Verizon.
For more information about AT&T, see our AT&T coverage map comparison guide.
Sprint Cell Phone Coverage Map
Comparing Sprint’s coverage map to those of the other major carriers, it’s clear that Sprint falls short of its competition. Sprint’s coverage map is full of empty spaces where their network coverage just does not reach. In fact, their 4G network only covers about 28% of the country. This pales in comparison to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Sprint specializes in providing service in some of the most densely populated urban areas of the country, but they are the weakest of the major carriers when it comes to network coverage in rural areas.
Check out our Sprint coverage map comparison guide for more detailed information.
Comparing Coverage to Overall Performance
Coverage is a gigantic factor anybody should consider when shopping for the right cell phone plan—your cell phone plan isn’t much use to you if you don’t get coverage when and where you need it the most. However, it isn’t the only factor you should consider. When it comes to network performance, you should also consider speed.
Not all networks are created equal, and some might not be as fast as others. Verizon tends to have some of the faster network speeds, but they aren’t as dominant in this category as they are in coverage. In fact, AT&T and T-Mobile are fierce competitors with Verizon when it comes to network speed, and depending on who you are talking to, any of the three could be considered the fastest network.