“Unlimited” is the keyword when it comes to choosing a cellular services provider. In the context of modern living where one can easily access the world through a mobile phone or tablet, it all boils down to speed, smooth service delivery, and — whenever necessary — customer service that gets any issues fixed in a flash.
While the North American mobile services market has opened its doors to numerous competitors to give customers extensive choices based on their budgets and what they need, two names still stand out: Verizon and AT&T.
What are They Currently Offering?
Right now, let’s look at how these two companies stack up in terms of what they can give mobile subscribers:
|4G LTE Coverage||Yes; coverage spread across 70% of the total service area||Yes, coverage spread across 68% of total service area|
|5G Network Coverage||Extremely low; coverage is at 0.0014% at best||Comparatively high with nationwide coverage at 6.15%|
|Unlimited Plans||Yes; currently offers four as of August 2020||Yes, currently offers three.|
|Customer Service||Holds a JDPower.com 4-circle Power Rating as of end-2019||Holds a JDPower.com 3-circle Power Rating as of end-2019|
As shown above, the competition between these two service providers is practically neck to neck as both already have strong and established customer bases. At the same time, it is the inclusions in their respective service packages that show who’s really on top.
Comparing the Packages
Four of Verizon’s plans offer unlimited talk, text, and data services, and pricing begins at $70 a month with autopay. Since August of this year, the network has bundled in streaming media services into these plans: Start Unlimited, its most basic unlimited plan, offers Disney+ and Hulu free for six months, while higher-priced plans provide both along with Hulu and ESPN for film and sports buffs.
However, it is vital to note that “unlimited” is a misnomer here, particularly during peak transmission hours when services begin to get spotty. Also, only two of these packages offer 600GB worth of cloud storage: the $80 a month Do More Unlimited and the $90 a month Get More Unlimited. Note at this point that the prices do not include taxes and service fees.
AT&T’s three unlimited plans, on the other hand, are more modest in terms of service offerings: starting at $65 a month, excluding taxes and service fees, it offers unlimited talk, text, and data services, along with security alerts and the ability to text within the United States and to over 120 countries. However, subscribers can only enjoy standard definition streaming for media services, and just one of those — HBO Max — is bundled in with AT&T, the most expensive package in the bunch at $85 a month. What it lacks in services, however, it makes up for in network quality as its 5G coverage is more stable and widespread — but this hasn’t been enough to make it the consumers’ provider of choice.
The victory goes to Verizon in this case – but not by much. While it has upped the ante by throwing in perks like access to streaming services, people still balk at the price tag. If the competition — not just AT&T, but providers like T-Mobile and Sprint — start improving on service additions and quality, then Verizon may be up for a battle soon.