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What to Know Before You Switch Your Mobile Plan

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What to Know Before You Switch Your Mobile Plan

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The enigmatic logistics of modern life can be pretty daunting. There are so many bills to pay, and fees hide behind every corner. Especially if you have a family plan, switching any mobile plans is never easy. While the largest networks in the states are only threefold, more modest wireless carriers abound, as well, so the process can be overwhelming whether you’re paying for a family or just yourself.

Which Network Works Best?

Let’s start by addressing the three major networks in the US: AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. All three of these are direct and have expansive 4G or 5G networks. They’re almost inherently dependable across the board, but there are slight differences among them.

They may not all work equally well in your area, so if you’re going to lean toward the big-league players, one is probably going to work better than the others. For example, T-Mobile is a bit spotty in the sense that one might have great T-Mobile service in Chicago and terrible service in Bangor, Maine. In rural areas, Verizon tends to be more reliable.

The one good thing about investing in any of these major networks is that they’re always improving anyway. Networks that had terrible service in certain areas ten years ago may have cleaned up their act. These big three are in such heated competition with each other in such a way that improvement is a guarantee.

Still, if you’d like to make do with less expansive networks, then that is a great way to save money and avoid paying for things you do not need. With the internet, there’s plenty of research to do on the smaller players, but do not forget to do some snooping the old-fashioned way: Consider talking to friends and family about potential carriers. Maybe those friends can spread the good word about what company has been taking care of them for the past few years. Consider going into a target carrier’s store and asking a representative questions directly. More specifically, you might also check if a trial is available. Nothing gives you a better sense of what you’re getting into than a trial. Even the major players offer trials, if you want to be doubly careful.

Who Are The Small Players?

Though many know about the major players like Verizon, there are a large number of small wireless providers that still offer service. If you’re considering a smaller service, the first services to consider might be the prepaid ones that exist within the major brands, like Verizon’s Visible or T-Mobile’s Metro. Each of these prepaid versions exists across parents’ networks for phone service. In fact, many smaller services tap into the networks of the largest countrywide services. Google’s phone service taps into T-Mobile’s network. Spectrum (Optimum) employs Verizon’s network. Some smaller brands tap into a mixture of major networks.

The primary benefit of a smaller carrier is pricing. A small carrier is much less expensive. Verizon might be a good option for you, but it might be above your pay grade. In this case, you could use Visible instead of going with Verizon because you do not want to do research. With something like Visible, you essentially achieve the same level of coverage, and you pay less at the expense of fewer perks (e.g, streaming services). Consider the trade-offs across the board with regard to more modest options, and make a decision that saves you money.

Recognize The Cost of The Installment

While multi-year contracts have mostly disappeared from the market, services seem to be replacing these contracts with longer installment plans. Some services say that you can receive a free device if you stay with a company for three years. Other services ask for greater displays of loyalty to receive deals or free devices. These longer timeframes allow people to obtain pricey phones for a lot less money, but in order to cash in on any perks, you need to stay with a particular service for many years. If you leave for another company before your contract is up, then you might have to pay a remaining balance to your service. A service may not let you leave for a different one until you pay that balance.

Major carriers are easier to deal with as regards this process, but essentially, if you’re still in the middle of a contract, you may not want to think about switching carriers just yet.

Should I Keep My Current Hardware?

Conventions of modern technology allow for a lot of compatibility across multiple devices. Your existing phone should work fine no matter the carrier, and all major carriers offer devices that’ll be similar to yours anyway. Keeping your hardware might be a prudent idea that saves a lot of money.

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