A lot of my friends and family are scared to drop their AT&T or Verizon smartphone because the coverage of the low cost smartphone wireless providers looks so sad in comparison. Unless you plan on driving every inch of the US while on your phone you should pay zero attention to any US coverage map. According to my quick Google research it looks like an average American spends the majority of their day to day life within a 50 mile radius of their home. This is why I suggest you don’t get too caught up on wireless coverage maps, just focus on the coverage in YOUR area.
For the purposes of this blog post we will only look at 4G LTE maps. I mean really whats the point of having a smartphone if you don’t have 4G? Looking at the coverage maps below you can see why Verizon shoves their coverage map down our throats every 15 minutes. They are obviously the best and everyone should just buy Verizon and the other companies should go hide in a corner and die right? WRONG.
For examples sake lets look at this map when we only look at the Twin Cities (my 50 mile radius).
Aside from the fact that T-Mobile’s map is absurdly pink to the point you can’t read anything, these maps are essentially the same. Don’t get me wrong: Verizon is the right choice for many people, especially those who live in more rural areas, but don’t get sucked in just because Verizon covers the US in more of their trademark color than the other 3.
Zact Wireless, which my wife and I both have, uses the Sprint network in the Twin Cities and it works just as good as my friends who have Verizon. In some cases, for instance at our desks, WE#1 does not get 4G on Verizon whereas I do get 4G on Sprint so suck it Verizon! (WE#1 note: I have to go to the break room to get data and I’m stuck in a contract. Suck it Verizon!).
Need more coverage sometimes? Get a prepaid phone!
As I mentioned in my Zact Review, I do not get any cell coverage with Sprint at my cabin which has become a bit of an issue. Instead of switching back to Verizon and paying 100+$’s more per month just to have coverage for the 10-15 days a year we spend at our cabin I have set up a pay as you go account with Verizon. For 2$/day I can now use my old Verizon standard phone when ever I need it. The 2$ only gets charged if you make or answer a call so you have total control over how much you spend. This is perfect for my upcoming trip to the cabin where I need to be reachable as my wife is 9 months pregnant and could pop at any time 🙂
 That’s right, someone can call you but you have to answer! Pager, anyone?