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Best mobile operators in the USA for travelers

by Fiorella
Best mobile operators in the USA for travelers

Meet the best mobile operators in the USA. With a population of over 330 million people, the United States of America obviously has several mobile service providers helping such a huge nation stay connected.

Many company names come to our minds. But our top ten best mobile operators in the USA is formed by:

  1. Verizon
  2. Sprint
  3. T-Mobile
  4. AT&T
  5. Metro
  6. U.S. Cellular
  7. U.S. Mobile
  8. Cricket
  9. Ting
  10. Boost Mobile

Today, we’ll go into detail with the first four. You can enjoy a good 5G network with any of them, but let’s check out their differences, coverage, rates, pros and cons below before you make your choice:

Verizon and Sprint: Best mobile operators for USA residents

Many good things have been said about these two companies. Actually, Verizon and Sprint are placed as first and second-best operators in the American country, respectively.


According to several national studies, when it comes to speed, coverage and reliability Verizon is the largest and best operator in the USA. But as we all know, quality comes for a price. And the highest rates in America is, unfortunately, the main feature about Verizon. Plans, activation fees and top-ups are quite expensive. That is to say, we don’t recommend it for someone who’s trying to save the most on a trip.


For cheaper prices and great deals, we better talk about Sprint. It is the USA’s fourth-largest cell phone carrier. However, we must also consider that with low prices come compromises. Coverage is not its main feature. It is not as good as Verizon’s and is pretty bad in rural, remote areas. But those in the cities won’t even know the difference, less if they enjoy great prepaid plans for so little money.

However, Verizon and Sprint use CDMA-based technology for their LTE services, which is incompatible with almost every unlocked cell phone we can have, leaving a better chance for those who buy their locked phones. This is why it is a convenient idea for residents instead of visitors.

Our recommendation for most travelers: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is one of the fastest networks of this nation. Their prepaid plans come with unlimited talk, text and data with very high speed. When compared to competitors such as AT&T and Verizon, their built-on-GSM technology offers great value for money. But company’s rural coverage is below the standard, with particularly large gaps in some few states.

T-Mobile coverage in the USA

AT&T for those visiting remote areas

AT&T offers one of the fastest networks as they own and operate their own network of cell towers. For this reason, they are unbeatable when it comes to coverage and reliability all over the country, with a solid service in rural zones as well as in the city. They have a fast data LTE service averaging over 7 Mbps, as well as cheap plans for families, veterans and active military members. On the negative side, it is also known for being the most expensive operator.

AT&T coverage in the USA

How to get a SIM card in the USA

Finally, we decided to stick to AT&T and T-Mobile, as they are the best options for travelers. There are several resellers on both networks. It is very common seeing kiosks and stores of these two brands everywhere in big cities, and maybe at the airport.

The process seems to be pretty simple as no ID registration is needed. So it will only take a few minutes to confirm you have an unlocked, compatible phone, choose your plan, make the payment and finally start enjoying the service. After that, your SIM card must be instantly activated.

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