AT&T vs Verizon: A Comprehensive Comparison

Choosing a wireless carrier is an important decision, and with multiple options available, it can be tough to determine which one is the best fit for you. Two of the biggest players in the United States are AT&T and Verizon. In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth comparison of these two giants, covering aspects like network coverage, speeds, plans, additional features, and customer service. So, let’s dive in and see which one comes out on top!

Network Coverage

When it comes to selecting a carrier, coverage is a crucial factor. Both AT&T and Verizon boast extensive nationwide coverage, but there are still some differences worth noting.

Nationwide Coverage

Verizon has long been known for its superior coverage in the U.S., and recent tests and reports continue to support this reputation. According to multiple sources, Verizon covers around 70% of the country with its 4G LTE network. AT&T isn’t far behind, though, with coverage estimates ranging from 68% to 70%.

Rural Coverage

If you live in a rural area or frequently travel to remote locations, Verizon may be the better choice. While both carriers provide decent coverage in rural areas, Verizon has a slight edge in this category.

International Coverage

When it comes to international coverage, AT&T has a slight advantage. AT&T offers roaming in more than 210 countries, whereas Verizon’s roaming services extend to over 185 countries. However, it’s essential to consider the specific countries you plan to visit and compare the carriers’ coverage maps.

Network Speeds and Performance

Another critical factor to consider is the speed and performance of each carrier’s network. With the rollout of 5G, many consumers are eager to experience the benefits of faster speeds and lower latency.

5G Speeds

Both AT&T and Verizon are actively expanding their 5G networks. However, as of now, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network offers faster average download speeds compared to AT&T’s 5G+ network. It’s essential to remember that 5G coverage is still limited and varies by location.

4G LTE Speeds

When it comes to 4G LTE speeds, AT&T and Verizon are quite competitive. According to recent tests, AT&T has a slight advantage in average download speeds, but the difference is minimal and may not be noticeable in everyday use.

Latency

Lower latency means a more responsive network, which is vital for activities like gaming and video calls. Both carriers offer low latency, but Verizon currently holds a slight edge in this category.

Plans and Pricing

Comparing plans and pricing between carriers can be challenging due to the various options and promotions available. We’ll break down the primary offerings for postpaid, prepaid, and family plans.

PlanPriceDownload SpeedUpload SpeedsData CapType
AT&T 10 Mbps$69.99/mo.10 Mbps1 Mbps350 GBFixed Wireless
Internet 10$55/mo.10 Mbps1 Mbps1 TBDSL
Internet 18$55/mo.18 Mbps 1 Mbps 1 TBDSL
Internet 25 $55/mo.25 Mbps 2 Mbps 1 TBDSL
Internet 50$55/mo.50 Mbps10 Mbps1 TBDSL
Internet 100 $55/mo.100 Mbps 20 Mbps NoneDSL
Fiber 300$55/mo.300 Mbps300 MbpsNoneFiber 
Fiber 500$65/mo.500 Mbps500 MbpsNoneFiber 
Fiber 1 Gig$80/mo.940 Mbps880 MbpsNoneFiber 
Fiber 2 Gig$110/mo.2 Gbps2 GbpsNoneFiber 
Fiber 5 Gig$180/mo.5 Gbps5 GbpsNoneFiber 

Postpaid Plans

AT&T and Verizon both offer a range of postpaid plans to cater to different needs. Generally, AT&T’s plans tend to be slightly more affordable than Verizon’s, but the latter offers more perks and features. For example, Verizon’s higher-tier plans include Apple Music and Disney+ subscriptions, while AT&T’s comparable plans include HBO Max.

Prepaid Plans

In the prepaid category, AT&T and Verizon offer similar pricing structures. Both carriers provide a variety of prepaid plans with different data allowances, international features, and mobile hotspot capabilities. However, AT&T’s prepaid plans tend to have a slight price advantage, and some of their plans include unlimited data, a feature not commonly found in Verizon’s prepaid offerings.

Family Plans

Family plans from both carriers offer significant savings when compared to individual plans. AT&T and Verizon provide similar family plan structures, with discounts increasing as you add more lines. Both carriers offer features like parental controls and data sharing, but AT&T’s family plans generally come at a lower price point.

Additional Features

Each carrier offers a range of additional features and perks to entice customers. Let’s take a closer look at some of these extras.

Streaming Services

As mentioned earlier, both AT&T and Verizon include streaming service subscriptions with their higher-tier plans. AT&T offers HBO Max, while Verizon provides Apple Music and Disney+. Depending on your preferences, these streaming services can be a significant deciding factor.

International Roaming

While both carriers offer international roaming, AT&T has a slight advantage with more extensive coverage in more countries. Additionally, AT&T’s international day passes and Passport plans can be more cost-effective for frequent travelers compared to Verizon’s TravelPass.

Customer Service

Customer service can play a vital role in the overall experience with a carrier. Both AT&T and Verizon have their share of positive and negative customer service reviews. However, according to recent surveys and studies, AT&T tends to have higher customer satisfaction ratings compared to Verizon.

Choosing the Right Device

Another aspect to consider when comparing AT&T and Verizon is the selection of devices they offer. Both carriers provide an extensive range of smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices, including the latest models from popular brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google.

When choosing a device, it’s essential to consider factors such as:

  • Operating system: Are you an iOS or Android user? Both carriers support the latest iPhones and Android devices.
  • Budget: Both AT&T and Verizon offer a variety of devices at different price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end flagships.
  • Device promotions: Carriers often provide promotions, such as trade-in offers or discounts, that can help you save on a new device. Be sure to compare the promotions available from both AT&T and Verizon.

Device Financing and Payment Options

AT&T and Verizon offer similar device financing options, allowing customers to purchase a new device with monthly installments over a set period. Both carriers also offer early upgrade programs, enabling you to upgrade to a new device sooner.

  • AT&T’s device financing program is called AT&T Installment Plan, with options for 30-month financing and the AT&T Next Up program, which allows eligible customers to upgrade after paying off 50% of their device.
  • Verizon’s device financing program is called Verizon Device Payment, with options for 24- or 30-month financing and the Annual Upgrade Program, which allows eligible customers to upgrade to a new device after 50% of their device’s retail price is paid off.

Network Reliability and Resilience

With the increasing reliance on mobile connectivity, network reliability is a crucial factor when choosing a carrier. Both AT&T and Verizon invest heavily in their networks to ensure they are reliable and resilient during natural disasters or other emergencies.

While it’s difficult to predict how a carrier’s network will perform during a specific event, studies and reports suggest that both AT&T and Verizon have robust networks with strong performance during times of crisis. When choosing a carrier, you may want to consider factors like local infrastructure and network investments to help ensure reliable service.

Device Insurance and Protection Plans

When choosing between AT&T and Verizon, it’s also worth considering the device insurance and protection plans they offer. These plans can provide coverage for loss, theft, accidental damage, and out-of-warranty malfunctions, giving you peace of mind and potentially saving you money in the long run.

AT&T Device Protection

AT&T offers several device protection plans, including:

  • Mobile Insurance: Covers loss, theft, accidental damage, and out-of-warranty malfunctions. Includes a declining deductible based on the time since the last claim.
  • Mobile Protection Pack: Offers the same coverage as Mobile Insurance, with added benefits like ProTech support and access to the AT&T Photo Storage app.
  • Multi-Device Protection Pack: Covers up to three eligible devices on your account and includes ProTech support and AT&T Photo Storage app access.

Verizon Device Protection

Verizon provides multiple device protection options, including:

  • Total Mobile Protection: Covers loss, theft, accidental damage, and post-warranty defects. Also includes Tech Coach support and access to Verizon’s security features.
  • Total Mobile Protection Multi-Device: Extends the benefits of Total Mobile Protection to up to three eligible devices on your account.
  • Wireless Phone Protection: A more basic plan covering loss, theft, and accidental damage.

When comparing device protection plans, consider factors such as coverage, deductible amounts, and any additional benefits that may be relevant to your needs.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

As environmental concerns become increasingly important, some consumers may want to consider the eco-friendly initiatives and practices of their chosen carrier.

Both AT&T and Verizon have made commitments to reduce their environmental impact through various initiatives, such as:

  • Energy efficiency: Both carriers have implemented measures to improve energy efficiency in their networks, data centers, and retail stores.
  • Renewable energy: Both AT&T and Verizon have made investments in renewable energy projects and have set goals to increase their use of renewable energy sources.
  • Device recycling: Both carriers offer device recycling programs, encouraging customers to recycle their old devices responsibly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both AT&T and Verizon have a lot to offer, making them strong contenders in the wireless market. Choosing the right carrier ultimately depends on your individual needs and priorities. By carefully assessing network coverage, speeds, plans, pricing, device selection, and additional features, you can make an informed decision that best suits your requirements. Keep in mind that individual experiences may vary, so it’s crucial to consider your specific location and usage patterns when comparing the two carriers.

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