Top 5 Telecom Providers in America (Coverage, Speed, Reviews)

An image of a city with telecommunication towers and other electronic devices

20 min read

Angela Otero

Navigating the vast world of telecom providers can seem like a daunting task. You’re not alone, though – I’m here to help! My deep dive into the industry has led me to identify and review America’s top 5 telecom providers.

This deep dive reviews the top 5: AT&T, Verizon, Comcast Corporation (Xfinity), T-Mobile US, and Charter Communications. Evaluated based on coverage, speed, customer service, and value, each provider presents its unique strengths and challenges.

By the end of this article, you’ll clearly understand which providers outperform their competitors and why. Whether you’re switching providers or just curious, get a clear understanding of the industry’s leading players and make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

A woman with her hands both sides of her face leaning on to the table looking at her laptop

Our Summary of The Top 5

ProviderRatingCoverage AreaPriceSpeed & ReliabilityCustomer ServiceBundle Options
1. AT&T★★★★★$$$★★★★★★★Yes
2. Verizon★★★★★$$$★★★★★★★★Yes
3. Comcast (Xfinity)★★★★$$★★★★★★★Yes
4. T-Mobile US★★★★$$$$★★★★★★★★Yes
5. Charter Comm.★★★$★★★★★★★Yes


  • ✓ = Nationwide or vast coverage area
  • $ = Low price range; $$ = Mid price range; $$$ = High price range; $$$$ = Premium price range
  • Ratings for “Speed & Reliability” and “Customer Service” are based on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). The ratings are hypothetical for the purpose of this chart and can be adjusted based on actual review scores.

Factors Considered in the Review

Choosing a telecom provider isn’t something you do on a whim. It’s a decision that requires careful consideration. I’ve looked at America’s Top 5 Telecom providers, assessing them based on several important factors.

  • Coverage Area. What’s the point of having a great package if you can’t access it everywhere? The coverage area is one crucial aspect I examined while reviewing these providers.
  • Price. Because let’s face it – budget matters. I noted the monthly costs, hidden fees, and contract stipulations that could affect overall affordability.
  • Speed & Reliability. When we talk about telecom services, speed and reliability are non-negotiables. Slow or spotty service, whether streaming your favorite shows or staying connected to loved ones overseas, won’t cut it.
  • Customer Service. Ever had to grapple with poor customer support? Yeah, me too—it isn’t fun! That’s why customer service was another key factor I considered in my evaluation process. How quickly and effectively does each provider resolve issues from technical assistance to billing queries?
  • Bundle Options. Some providers offer packages combining internet, cable TV, and phone services at discounted prices, which could be worth considering depending on your needs.

Review of the Top 5 Telecom Providers

AT&T logo in a sky blue background
Video | AT&T

1. AT&T ★★★★★

Diving headfirst into the telecom world, we’re starting with a heavy hitter: AT&T! Just like a timeless piece of architecture, AT&T has held strong over the years, connecting folks with pioneering services and groundbreaking tech.

Overview & History

  • AT&T, a telecom heavyweight, has been in the game since 1983. Born out of the Bell Telephone Company, founded by Alexander Graham Bell himself, AT&T’s roots run deep into the heart of telecommunications.

Coverage & Speed

  • When it comes to coverage and speed, AT&T doesn’t mess around. Reaching over 100 million people nationwide with its LTE network and boasting an impressive average download speed of 25.6 Mbps according to OpenSignal – that’s speedy!

ACGIS Coverage Maps
ACGIS Coverage Maps | https://fcc.maps.arcgis.com/


  • While their pricing leans towards the premium, you’re investing in their longstanding reputation. Individual plans tip off at $35/month and can reach up to $200/month for the family-oriented ones.

Here are their pricing plans:

Feature / Plan NameAT&T Unlimited Premium℠AT&T Unlimited Extra®AT&T Unlimited Starter®
Price (for 4 lines)$50.00/mo.$40.00/mo.$35.00/mo.
Talk, Text, & DataUnlimited (No slowing)Unlimited + 50GB PremiumUnlimited
+ High-speed dataAfter 50GB, may slow downMay slow if network is busy
ActiveArmorSM Mobile SecurityYes (Advanced)Yes (Advanced)Yes (Basic)
ActiveArmor Features (App)Wi-Fi Protection,Wi-Fi Protection,Spam Call Blocking,
Identity Monitoring & moreIdentity Monitoring & moreDevice and Data security
24/7 Proactive Network SecurityYesYesYes
Mobile Hotspot Data (per line per month)50GB (Then max 128Kbps)15GB (Then max 128Kbps)3GB (Then max 128Kbps)
International BenefitsUnlimited talk, text & data
in 19 Latin American countries
Int’l usage shouldn’t exceed Domestic.
Streaming Quality4K UHDStandard-definitionStandard-definition
Signature Program DiscountUp to $10/mo. per line

Unique Selling Points

What sets them apart? Well, they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves.

  • Partnerships:
    • WarnerMedia: Customers get access to platforms like HBO Max, CNN, and Warner Bros.
    • DirecTV: Bundling options for customers who want satellite television.
  • Loyalty Programs:
    • AT&T THANKS: A customer appreciation program offering tickets, exclusive experiences, and other rewards.

Customer Reviews & Feedback

  • Overall, customers seem satisfied with AT&T’s service, although there are grumbles about customer service every now and then.
    • Plans and Pricing: AT&T Prepaid’s affordability and reliability attracted significant positive attention, being described as a real value for the money. However, on the downside, some customers expressed frustration over inconsistent billing, confusing deals, and what they perceived as inflated charges.
    • Coverage & Reliability: While some customers found AT&T’s service dependable, especially in specific store locations, others experienced problems. Concerns included slow and unreliable internet and disappointing experiences with Direct TV.
    • Switching Providers: A couple of reviews indicated customers were either considering or had already switched to another service provider due to dissatisfaction with AT&T’s services, pricing, or both.

A verizon text logo and a checkmark in a black background
Video | Verizon

2. Verizon ★★★★★

Next stop: Verizon. This powerhouse has been laying down tracks in the telecom world for ages, bringing top-notch connectivity coast to coast. They’re not just about size; the quality and innovation keep them leading the pack.

Overview & History

Coverage & Speed

  • Their extensive network coverage is tough to beat, especially in rural areas where other providers struggle.
  • As per Ookla’s Speedtest data, Verizon boasts an average download speed of 32.2 Mbps – not too shabby!

ACGIS Coverage Maps
ACGIS Coverage Maps | https://fcc.maps.arcgis.com/


  • Verizon’s pricing can make you wince a bit: individual plans start at $35/month while family plans climb up to $200/month or more, depending on your needs.

Here are their pricing plans:

Feature / Plan NameUnlimited UltimateUnlimited PlusUnlimited Welcome
Base Price (per line)$40/line$30/line$25/line
Add-On Service & DiscountApple One ($10/line)Disney Bundle ($10/line)Walmart+ Membership ($10/line)
Save $6.95/lineSave $4.99/lineSave $2.95/line
Total Price (per line)*$50/line$40/line$35/line
5G Service5G Ultra Wideband5G Ultra Wideband5G
Mobile Hotspot Data60 GB30 GB
Special Device OffersUp to 50% off 2 devices**Up to 50% off a device
International ConnectivityYes
Home Internet OfferAs low as $25/moAs low as $25/moAs low as $40/mo
Other FeaturesGlobal Choice, Device SavingsDevice Savings

Unique Selling Points

They’ve got some cool perks:

  • Partnerships:
    • Disney: Provides customers free or discounted access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
    • Apple: Offers free or discounted Apple Music subscriptions with certain plans.
  • Loyalty Programs:
    • Verizon Up: Rewards program where customers earn credits for monthly bill payments that can be redeemed for device dollars, experiences, and more.

Customer Reviews & Feedback

  • Customers appreciate Verizon’s reliable coverage, but according to online reviews, their customer service could use work.
    • Affordability: Verizon’s initiative to proactively lower a customer’s phone bill without any prompts was noteworthy, and the customer appreciated the consistent billing since.
    • Misinformation: A customer experienced frustration at being incorrectly informed that their international phones wouldn’t work with the carrier’s service, leading to unnecessary complications and potential unnecessary expenses.
    • Poor Service: Extremely dissatisfactory customer service has led customers to contemplate switching carriers.

Xfinity logo in a blue purple background
Video | Xfinity

3. Comcast Corporation (Xfinity) ★★★★

Switching lanes, we come across Comcast Corporation. With Xfinity as their flagship, they’ve been reshaping how we experience entertainment and communication. Their blend of tech and service is nothing short of a game-changer.

Overview & History

  • Founded in 1963, Comcast has grown from humble beginnings into one of the largest telecom companies in the US today.

Coverage & Speed

  • It offers its Xfinity internet services across 40 states with an average download speed of up to 100 Mbps – that’ll get those Netflix shows streaming without a hitch!

Broadband Now Coverage Map
Broadband Now Coverage Map | https://broadbandnow.com/


  • Prices for Xfinity start at $29.99/month and go up depending on your package choice and add-ons.

Here are their pricing plans:

Feature / Plan NameUnlimited IntroUnlimited PlusUnlimited PremiumBy the Gig
Monthly Price (per line)$30.00$40.00$50.00Varies ($15, $30, $60 for 1GB, 3GB, 10GB)
Total Monthly Price for 2 lines$60$80$100
High-Speed Data (per line)20 GB30 GB (Premium Data)50 GB (Premium Data)
Mobile HotspotUnlimited at 3G speeds5 GB at 5G/4G speeds15 GB at 5G/4G speeds4G LTE personal hotspots
Video StreamingSDHDHDHD
Talk and TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Additional Charges (if you go over)$15 per GB

Unique Selling Points

They have the following partnerships and loyalty programs:

  • Partnerships:
    • NBCUniversal: Allows for bundling of services and exclusive access to NBC content.
    • Peacock: Xfinity customers often get early or free access to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.
  • Loyalty Programs:
    • Xfinity Rewards: Offers members exclusive deals, access to VIP experiences, and other perks.
  • Their X1 DVR system is a standout feature, allowing folks to record several shows simultaneously while watching something else entirely!

Customer Reviews & Feedback

  • Regarding customer feedback, it’s a mixed bag with satisfaction over speed, but some complaints about pricing and customer support creeping in, too.
    • Quality & Affordability: Xfinity provides reliable quality and has programs designed to support low-income individuals, ensuring everyone can access their services.
    • Rewards Program Issues: An Xfinity customer, a subscriber for nearly 35 years, was frustrated after being credited for only 1.5 years in the rewards program due to a brief lapse in service during a relocation.
    • Billing & Service Issues: Multiple complaints of “bait and switch” tactics, overcharges, and challenging correction processes, especially after transitioning a home phone line to an Xfinity Mobile line, resulting in severe disappointment and unexpected expenses.

A T-Mobile logo in a pink background
Video | T-Mobile

4. T-Mobile US ★★★★

Rolling forward, we tap into T-Mobile US. Beyond their iconic magenta, this team has been pushing boundaries, offering standout coverage and unique customer experiences. Their drive to innovate is unmistakably bold.

Overview & History

  • This German-born company made its way to our shores in ’94 and has been shaking things up ever since.

Coverage & Speed

  • They’ve got nationwide LTE coverage, reaching over 300 million people! And with an average download speed of about 21.1 Mbps, according to OpenSignal – it’s keeping pace!

ACGIS Coverage Maps
ACGIS Coverage Maps | https://fcc.maps.arcgis.com/


  • For pricing, you’re looking at starting rates around $90/month for individuals scaling up for family plans accordingly.

Here are their pricing plans:

Feature / Plan NameGo5G NextGo5G PlusEssentials
Monthly Price$180/mo$150/mo$90/mo
Price for 3 Phone Lines$230/mo$200/mo$120/mo
AutoPay Discount & Eligibilityw/AutoPay discount using the eligible payment methodw/AutoPay discount using the eligible payment methodw/AutoPay discount using the eligible payment method
Taxes & FeesIncludedIncludedPlus tax and fees
Upgrade PolicyEvery yearEvery two years (New in Two)
Premium DataUnlimitedUnlimited50GB
Mobile Hotspot50GB high-speed50GB high-speedUnlimited 3G
Streaming EntertainmentNetflix on Us (2-screen)Netflix on Us (2-screen)
Other BenefitsGet a 3rd line FREE for new customersGet a 3rd line FREE for new customersNo annual service contract is required
5G & 4G LTE AccessUnlimited with 50GB of Premium Data

Unique Selling Points

Perks? Oh yeah! They have the following:

  • Partnerships:
    • Netflix: Offers “Netflix On Us” for certain plans, giving users a free Netflix subscription.
    • Sprint: After their merger, T-Mobile and Sprint have integrated their services and offer deals for customers from both providers.
  • Loyalty Programs:
    • T-Mobile Tuesdays: Gives out weekly freebies and deals to T-Mobile customers.

Customer Reviews & Feedback

  • Customers rave about T-Mobile’s cool perks, but some have encountered coverage issues in more remote areas.
    • Service Reliability: T-Mobile consistently delivers reliable internet, phone service, and text messaging, meeting the needs and expectations of its users.
    • Customer Service Praise: T-Mobile’s customer service has been described as exceptional and 5-star, standing out from other wireless providers regarding rate, coverage, and senior plans. Additionally, the convenience of seeking assistance in-store is appreciated by users.
    • Poor Coverage: Some users experience a lack of signal due to overloaded towers, indicating potential infrastructure challenges.
    • Overcharging: Complaints about being overcharged for services not opted for by customers have been raised, which raises concerns about billing transparency and integrity.

An outline of a phone with Spectrum text at the bottom
Video | EB3 Studios

5. Charter Communications (Spectrum) ★★★

Last on our journey is Charter Communications. They’ve consistently shown they’ve got the muscle and the mindset to redefine connectivity. While they wrap up our list today, their ambition ensures they’re always front and center in the industry’s future.

Overview & History

  • Originally a cable company launched in ’93, Charter has expanded its services to include broadband and telecom.

Coverage & Speed

  • Their Spectrum Internet service offers high-speed internet with an average download speed of up to 200 Mbps across 41 states!

Broadband Now Coverage Map
Broadband Now Coverage Map | https://broadbandnow.com/


  • Spectrum’s plans start at $14/month and rise depending on your chosen add-ons and package.

Here are their pricing plans:

Price$14.00/GB per month$29.99/mo per line$39.99/mo per line
Talk, Text, and DataPay for data usedUnlimited (up to 30 GB)Unlimited (up to 50 GB)
Mobile HotspotUp to 5 GB (No fees)Up to 10 GB (No fees)
Video StreamingHD-quality
Switching OptionsSwitch to Unlimited for more dataSwitch between Unlimited/Unlimited Plus
RoamingFREE in Mexico and Canada
Data Sharing (Lines)Up to 10 lines

Unique Selling Points

Here are their selling points and programs:

  • Partnerships:
    • Showtime: Often offers promotions for free or discounted Showtime subscriptions.
    • Stadium: Exclusive sports content available for Spectrum subscribers.
  • Loyalty Programs:
    • Spectrum Perks: Offers members exclusive savings, sweepstakes entries, and special promotions.
  • Another is their contract buyout offer – they’ll pay you to switch from another provider! That’s something you don’t see every day!

Customer Reviews & Feedback

  • The feedback? There are cheers for speed and connectivity, but some jeers over customer service hiccups.
    • Transparent Practices: The company is praised for its straightforward approach, with no hidden contracts or tactics to extract additional funds from customers.
    • Internet Quality: Users commend Spectrum for providing the fastest and most reliable internet service.
    • Efficient Replacement Process: When faced with a technical issue, the modem replacement process is efficient. The in-store experience for such replacements is prompt and smooth.
    • Local Office Customer Service: Customer service has been criticized for its apparent lack of care for customer concerns.

Comparative Analysis

Regarding telecom providers, the top five that come to mind are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Comcast Corporation, and Charter Communications. But how do they stack up against each other? Here’s a closer look.

  • AT&T – With competitive pricing, AT&T stands out, especially with its attractive bundle deals that pair internet and TV services. However, some users have pinpointed network challenges in certain locales.
  • Verizon – Known for its extensive coverage and consistent service quality. But this reputation comes with a price, as their plans can lean towards the higher end compared to competitors.
  • Comcast Corporation – While primarily recognized for cable services, Comcast is making strides in the telecom sector. The vast service range is commendable, though they’ve had varying reviews.
  • T-Mobile – The merger with Sprint has empowered T-Mobile, and their claim of having America’s largest 5G network is notable. This merger means they’re building on both brands’ strengths while addressing former coverage issues.
  • Charter Communications – Not the biggest in the lineup, but it is important to note. Their emphasis on customer service combined with reasonably priced plans makes them an option worth considering, particularly if you’re within their service areas.

Quick Summary:

AT&TCompetitive Pricing & Comprehensive Bundle DealsSome Network Challenges in Specific Regions
VerizonBroad Coverage & Reliable ServiceTends to be Pricier
Comcast CorporationWide Range of ServicesInconsistent Customer Reviews
T-MobileRobust 5G Network & Merger BenefitsPast Coverage Concerns (Addressed with Merger)
Charter CommunicationsStrong Customer Service & Fair PricingLimited Service Areas

A woman sitting and looking at her laptop while her pen is on her mouth

Additional Considerations When Choosing a Telecom Provider

When looking for the right telecom provider, it’s not just about who’s got the biggest name or the flashiest ads. There are several factors that I believe need to be considered.

  • Contract terms. Are you okay with being tied down for two years, or would you prefer something more flexible? This can greatly affect which provider is best for you.
  • Upgrade Potential. As tech evolves, so do our needs. Make sure your provider is on the cutting edge. Can they offer faster speeds in the future? Are they investing in 5G, 6G, or whatever the next big G is? You’ll want to ride that wave when it arrives.
  • Network Stability. Hey, we’ve all been there – mid-conference call or during a heated gaming session- suddenly, the connection drops. It’s a digital nightmare! Check how often providers face outages or if they have a record of maintaining a stable network. You need that uninterrupted flow!
  • Ease of Installation. No one wants to spend their whole weekend figuring out wires and boxes. Some providers make the setup process a breeze with clear instructions or even a tech to help in person. Dive into this detail if DIY isn’t your forte!
  • Loyalty Perks. Have you been with the same provider for years? Or are you thinking of committing long-term? Some companies reward you for sticking around with them. These long-haul rewards can be quite enticing, whether a price discount, upgraded speeds, or even free gadgets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which provider has the best coverage in my area?
Visit the official websites of the providers. Most have coverage maps where you can input your zip code to see their service reach in your area.

Why are some plans more expensive?
Premium plans usually include additional benefits like faster speeds, larger data allowances, or complementary services. Determine if these perks align with your needs to assess their value.

Can I trust customer reviews?
Customer reviews can offer insights but should be considered alongside other information. It’s recommended to consult various sources and not solely rely on reviews.

Are contracts binding?
Contracts can provide a fixed rate for a set period, but reading the terms is essential. Some contracts last for extended periods, while others are more flexible with month-to-month options.

Can I switch providers halfway through a contract?
Yes, but be aware of early termination fees. Some providers might offer contract buyouts as an incentive to switch.

How do telecom providers measure speed?
Speed is typically measured in Mbps (Megabits per second). The higher the Mbps, the faster the connection.


Website Resources:

Video References:

EB3 Studios

Spectrum mobile - eb3 studios youtube channel





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