Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint unlimited data plans price comparison

Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint unlimited data plans price comparison
Both AT&T and Verizon introduced new data plans not long ago, and we are comparing their unlimited options - AT&T's Starter, Extra and Elite, against Verizon's Above, Go and Beyond Unlimited, T-Mobile's One and One Plus, as well as Sprint's Unlimited Freedom, which is the cheapest of the bunch. 

There's been a lot of moving and shaking since US carriers went all unlimited. T-Mobile increased its pricesVerizon limited its "unlimited" option a bit, and AT&T enhanced the Plus and Choice plans to a level where Choice customers can be "deprioritized" at any time for paying a bit less, but don't have a blanket 3Mbps restriction anymore, plus the same goes for Verizon's cheaper option, too.

One simple look at the quarterly profits of the big four US carriers, and some recent network speed tests would tell you why all of this is happening. After an initial period of amassing customers, switchers, and goodwill, T-Mobile bumped its unlimited One Plus data plan with ten bucks apiece, making it pretty close to AT&T and Verizon's offerings, but not quite, as taxes and fees are included in the price with T-Mobile. When it comes to Sprint, it has been posting comparisons to showcase the running promos that make it much cheaper than the rest of the gang since, well, since it's been much cheaper than the others.

Verizon - coverage comes at a price

America's largest carrier will grant you at least a bar or two from the cornfields of Illinois, to sweet home Alabama, but that superior network of towers will cost ya - Verizon's unlimited plans are costly, both for a single line ($90 w/AutoPay), and for the most popular 4-line family endeavor. You can, however, mix and match plan types on each line, even within the same family, which is pretty unique as far as carrier offers go.

AT&T strikes the balance

The second-largest US carrier also has very expansive coverage outside of big cities, casting a bit smaller net than Verizon, and has a bit cheaper unlimited prices to reflect on that, at $80 for a single line. It does over free HBO streaming, though, and its GSM network means a much wider range of compatible phones, so its "enhanced" plans can hit the nail on the head for you.

T-Mobile, everyone's favorite underdog

Underestimate the Un-carrier at your own peril. Flamboyant CEO aside, ever since T-Mobile started a plan price war with the big guys, the combination of aggressive marketing and great phone/plan discounts, propelled it to new heights in subscriber growth. That phase seems to be abating now, though, and its prices ($80 for a single line) reflect what's on offer - fastest average download speeds, largest data cap, and free Netflix, but a tad weaker coverage outside big metropolitan areas, compared to AT&T or Verizon.

Sprint - unlimited on the cheap

The fourth-largest US carrier has the most affordable unlimited plan prices currently on offer. Heck, you can get 4 lines for your family at just $100 with the running promo! Its legacy network has some way to grow, though, especially outside large cities, but if Sprint has good coverage in your area, and you don't travel all that much to the boondocks, you are golden.

*All prices are after Auto Pay and w/ paperless billing, include unlimited talk&text in the US
So, which unlimited data plan is the best? We'll go out on a limb here, and say that the new AT&T offerings seem to be the best balance of coverage/monthly outlays. Its prices are now close to T-Mobile's, but it offers a wider LTE net, which is important if you venture outside big cities and highways

For about $5 per line more, however, you can get Verizon's superior coverage that blankets 400,000 square miles more territory than AT&T. In addition, data guzzlers and frequent travelers will appreciate Verizon's Above Unlimited plan perks.

If you mostly chill in a large city, you may save a bunch of money with Sprint, or take advantage of the higher 50 GB "speed de-prioritization" threshold, and the other perks that T-Mobile offers. All in all, the moral of the story stays the same - whatever plan you chose, make sure its carrier has decent coverage in the areas you frequent the most!



1. fyah_king unregistered

You forgot to put T-Mobile simple unlimited. It has 15GB of hotspot at 4G.

2. libra89

Posts: 2310; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This is very helpful, thank you! I'm glad that this was broken down by the number of lines.

3. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

My favorite unlimited is the MetroPCS 4 lines for $100. I've never been throttled, and we got 3 free Galaxy J7 Primes and one LG Stylo 3 Plus for $50 for porting in.

8. michaelny2001

Posts: 340; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

actually Cricket (AT&T) is trully, well was trully the best deal. $100 for 5 lines. They no longer offer it.

25. irenestanciel

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 31, 2018

I agree with you... I been with metro over five years... I love this plan .. however I just moved from southern California to Texas out in the country and I literally have no service out here at all but if I'm in austin it's ok but here none.. I'm kind of sad because I have to switch carriers and pay more money for a new service... I wish they piggyback from a service that has more coverage otherwise I would stay with metro I like them alot

4. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Been with att since 2004 and have never thought about leaving.

30. someguy2261

Posts: 259; Member since: Feb 12, 2016

Then you must not be very smart.

31. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Have no reason to leave. I have 7 phones on my account and with the plan I have it comes out to $75 a phone and that includes the payment on 6 of the phones. I have never had a problem with them either. So STFU

5. Acdc1a

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

"Hotspot data is at 3G speeds, for LTE you got to shell out $25 per line" This is not accurate. The One Plus plan allows for 10GB of high speed tethering. $25 allows for unlimited high speed tethering.

6. gabmasterjcc

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 19, 2017

Since promo pricing was included, it should also be included for T-Mobile One Plus (4 lines on promo are $180). Under Hotspots, T-Mobile includes 512Kbps for regular One plan. Since you are including International, you should also include a column for Canada and Mexico. Those are the most likely destinations for users and the offerings are very different than the generic international offerings.

7. rebretz

Posts: 114; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

No idea how but I got a sweet T-Mobile deal. Not sure if it was because I transferred in from Verizon but I have 3 Unlimited Data lines. My 3rd line was free. All the lines have HD video, unlimited hot spot for all lines, and I only pay $100 a month, $80 if I get both of my main two lines under 2 GB or data each.

9. libra89

Posts: 2310; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

That sounds awesome!

10. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2270; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Its not mentioned, but Xfinity Mobile comes out as the best deal. $12/gb or $45/mo unlimited. Better yet they are using Verizon's network, in which is better than Sprint and TMobile. I will be cutting over within the next few months from Verizon. I pay about $151 for (2) iPhone 7 Plus 256GB models. My bill should be reduced by $50 a month.

12. speedingcheetah

Posts: 89; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

HA! Xfinity/Comcast. They are twisted insane crooks. The worst company. They always raise their cable tv prices $5 each year. And lie to you when u change "bundles" packages and u get a huge bill. I would NEVER ever trust them. Not to mention they officially have the WORST customer service on record.

15. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2270; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

In terms of Xfinity i have no issues regarding services and cost. 1. 6 HD Receivers with DVR, 300Mbps of internet, Home Security, free HBO, Showtime, Cinemax for two years = $210 including taxes for the last 6 months and longer for up to two years. 2. Paying $7.50/mo for an LG V-Charge. As a result received a $500 gift card last month that I haven't used yet. I don't use the phone. Sitting in the drawer. 3. Received a 128GB iPad 9.7 Wifi for $5/mo (valued at $429). My cost is only $120 over two years. 4. No interruptions of services. 99.9% run rate of my network. Not sure who you trust, but I am living proof... ATT/DirecTV or any cable company can't touch this offer. Tell me what you have and what is better than this offer?

21. speedingcheetah

Posts: 89; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Nope. Not in my area. Its $150 a month for 1 HD cable box and a cable card, and the digital Preferred service package (the ONLY package that has the channels i want) here for me in MN. My folks 20 miles north of me pay around $300 a month for 1 HD X1 cable box DVR and 100meg internet. I and my neighbors have had numerous issues with them over the years. There is no other cable tv options in my area.

22. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2270; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

You need to learn to negotiate. In my case, I'm getting a smoking deal. Do you agree?

24. vincebk

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 30, 2018

How about Verizon Fios 100/100 internet for $20.65 a month?

27. speedingcheetah

Posts: 89; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

U can get 1gig Internet for that cost in the UK.

11. speedingcheetah

Posts: 89; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

For those where unlimited in not necessary...Check out Republic Wireless. (A tmobile GSM MVNO. A Sprint CDMA sim is available if needed) Its $15 base plan (unlimited talk,text,wifi) + $5 per GB. It's cheaper and supports much more phones than Google's Project Fi.

13. AlikR

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 05, 2013

Not true about international data plan speeds. I experienced full LTE in Germany and Israel last year. It may depend on the country though, but I wouldn't generalize it

14. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

Sprint is the best value by far!!! I switched from AT&T to Sprint when the iPhone 8 release. I am very happy with the service and the lower bill!

16. EternalDarkness

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

For $150.00 per month plus tax for 5 lines I have an old legacy T-Mobile plan each line has unlimited text, voice, unlimited LTE data with full HD streaming and 15 GB LTE hotspot it breaks down to around $35.00 per line after taxes.

17. Acdc1a

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I'm grandfathered in at the One Plus at no additional cost plus a couple of complementary lines. I'm at $145 all in for 4 voice and 2 tablet lines. I could not be happier.

18. cbf9427

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 11, 2015

T-Mobile: "All taxes&fees included." That's is a $20+ price advantage on a four line plan. That throws the whole comparison in favor of T-Mobile, in less you spend a lot of time in the boonies (and even there, T-Mobile's catching up with their new 600Mhz spectrum). Not to mention, Canada and Mexico 4G roaming, rest of the world free 3G+, etc. It's really no contest.

19. fyah_king unregistered

6 lines for $120 with TMobile simple unlimited and 15GB of hotspot. You can't beat this deal!!!

20. Master_J

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 28, 2018

T-Mobile has the best offer right now with the 4th line free, taxes and fees included with the price, free Netflix, and 50GBs of data.

23. suavemezie

Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

you forgot that AT&T unlimited plus gives $25 off your directv or uverse every month

26. Sinovia

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 01, 2018

Actually Comcast Xfinity Mobile which is supported by Verizon has unlimited for $45 atm. 1 line, 2 lines, 3 doesn't matter you still get that low price.

28. cuppacappachino

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Both Verizon unlimited plans include unlimited Canada and Mexico usage as well. Weird it is mentioned for AT&T, but not Verizon.

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