The best part of living in the world’s largest capitalist society is that you are never short of options. The USA is home to nearly 915 mobile phone service providers, and while some are specific to a state or region, the big three; Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile assure countrywide coverage at reasonable rates. If you are thinking about switching your mobile phone carrier and are confused between AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile, then here is our take on the AT&T Wireless vs T-Mobile debate to help you select the right operator for your device.  

AT&T Wireless

AT&T is the oldest telecommunications company in the USA. Founded in 1885 by pioneers like Alexander G. Bell, Thomas Watson, and Gardiner G. Hubbard, AT&T held a monopoly on America’s telephone network until the late 20th century. Today, AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company in terms of its total revenue. It is also the 3rd biggest mobile phone service provider in the USA with more than 101.8 million subscribers. 

The foundations of AT&T Wireless were laid in 1987 with the inception of McCaw Cellular Communications. This was the first time in the history of telecommunications technology that cellular spectrum was licensed and offered for commercial use, at $4.50 per pop, to Americans. The cellular network came under AT&T’s ownership in 2005 and was rebranded as AT&T Mobility. Since then, the company has been offering AT&T Wireless services to cell phone users across the USA, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  

AT&T Wireless offers a wide range of prepaid and postpaid plans to its customers starting at just $25 per month and giving unlimited data of up to 50GB without speed throttling. Customers of AT&T wireless can benefit from promo pricing options, special discounts, and exciting value deals such as Mobile Trade-in offers and free activation on Bring Your Own Device deals. AT&T’s nationwide coverage and availability of over 30,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in the US keep your life in full swing, on and off the road. 


  • Unlimited data
  • Nationwide coverage
  • 50 GB mobile hotspot data
  • Good customer service
  • Senior citizen discounts
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Mobile Trade-in
  • Family plans


  • Speed reductions when the network is busy
  • Plans are slightly expensive


T-Mobile was founded in 1996 as an American subsidiary of a German Telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom AG. Over the years, it has surpassed AT&T to become the second-largest mobile phone service provider with more than 110 million active users. Today, the company’s cellular network coverage includes the mainland USA and Alaska and even extends to the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico territories.  

T-Mobile USA’s broad portfolio includes services like prepaid and postpaid mobile phone plans, 5G home internet, and online banking under the name ‘T-Mobile MONEY’.  

Currently, the cell phone service provider is offering seven monthly mobile phone plans to its U.S. customers starting at just $10 per month. T-Mobile’s customers can enjoy numerous discounts, perks, and cost-effective deals like the Mobile Trade-in offer and Bring Your Own Phone option on top of their affordable monthly phone plans. 

T-Mobile’s special attention towards its customers with family and friends in Canada, Mexico, and beyond makes it the most inexpensive cell phone carrier that offers international calls and texts at standard domestic rates ($0.25 per minute)


  • Cheaper than AT&T plans
  • Unlimited plans
  • Netflix subscription on Magenta Max
  • International calls and texts


  • Hotspot data is limited
  • Sightly smaller coverage in rural areas

AT&T Wireless Plans

  • Nationwide Coverage
  • Unlimited Data Plans
  • Access to Free WiFi Hotspots


Mobile Service Comparison – AT&T Wireless vs T-Mobile

If you are contemplating switching to either one of the two cellular service providers, AT&T or T-Mobile, it would be wise to consider how the two carriers compare. Our comparison is based on their pricing, mobile data, coverage areas, Wi-Fi hotspot availability and caps, and customer service score. 

Both the network carriers offer similar perks and are the trusted choice of licensed cellular spectrum for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) around the country. However, T-Mobile has a competitive advantage in terms of its low rates whereas, AT&T Wireless supersedes T-Mobile in regards to its higher customer satisfaction rank and wider footprint in rural communities.  

In the table below, we have presented the mobile service comparison for AT&T Wireless vs T-Mobile.  

ComparisonAT&T WirelessT-Mobile 
Mobile Plans87
Price Range$25 to $85/mo$10 to $85/mo
Max. Mobile Data100GB100GB
Max. Hotspot Data50GB50GB
Discounts/ PromosAvailable Available
Coverage Area50 states 50 states
Customer Service3.8 stars2.8 stars
Contact ProviderCall 877-209-3574 NowCall 877-395-5851 Now

Mobile Plans

For more than two decades, AT&T and T-Mobile have been making communication over long distances a reality for their customers. Both carriers offer several prepaid and postpaid plans with varying degrees of mobile data allowance, to ensure that every subscriber’s individual needs are met. You can decide to have family plans on both networks through the addition of more mobile lines on the same plan. Adding more lines gives the users the advantage of reducing their overall cost per line by at least $30 per month. 

Just like in the case of AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile also allows its customers the exclusive benefit of buying a mobile phone or smart device (e.g. table, smartwatch) through one of its online or physical stores. The greatest advantage of purchasing a phone through your cell phone carrier is that after making a small upfront payment, you can gradually pay off your device in monthly installments by selecting one of the Device Payment Plans. These Device Payment Plans include your mobile phone plans and for an additional cost of just around $20 per month, you get calls, texts, 5G data, hotspot data, and a new phone.  

AT&T Prepaid Plans 

AT&T Wireless’ prepaid plans start for as low as $25 per month and you get unlimited talk time and text to all networks within the country.  AT&T also allows you to send unlimited texts with pictures and video messages to over 200 countries. Standard charges of $0.25 per text are applicable. 

Depending on your monthly mobile data usage, you can select any one of the AT&T prepaid plans for mobile devices presented in the table below. 

PlansPriceCallsTextsData International
1$25/moUnlimitedUnlimited1GBUnlimited texts to 230 countries
2$33/moUnlimitedUnlimited2.5GBUnlimited texts to 230 countries
3$30/moUnlimitedUnlimited5GBUnlimited texts to 230 countries
4$40/moUnlimitedUnlimited15GBUnlimited texts to 230 countries
5$50/moUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited texts to 230 countries

Get Unlimited Calls, Texts & Data with AT&T Prepaid Plan

Call 1-877-209-3574 Now!

It is important to note that if you subscribe to AT&T’s 5th prepaid plan with unlimited data, you are likely to experience speed reductions after using up to 22GB of mobile data. It happens when there is congestion on the network and the speed is throttled to allow all AT&T subscribers to stay connected. You may continue to struggle with slow internet speeds until your next billing cycle. 

Fortunately, AT&T allows you to save up on your mobile data when you are out on the roads and traveling across the country. AT&T has installed more than 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in public locations around the country. As an AT&T Wireless subscriber, you get free access to all of these Wi-Fi hotspots. You can easily connect your mobile device to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot within your range by signing in with your AT&T username and password.  

On average, the internet speed of your AT&T mobile data will fluctuate between 15 Mbps and 50 Mbps for the 4G network, and between 40 Mbps to 80 Mbps for the 5G network. 

AT&T Unlimited Plans 

Currently, there are three higher-tier unlimited plans for AT&T Wireless subscribers who don’t wish to be restricted by data caps. 

Plans PriceCalls & Texts Data HotspotInternationalContact AT&T
Starter$65/moUnlimited10GBN/AUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now
Extra $75/moUnlimited50GB15GBUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now
Elite $85/moUnlimited100GB30GBUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now

All the AT&T unlimited plans allow you to switch to a postpaid service, meaning that you can pay for your plan at the end of each month. You can add up to 10 mobile lines on each plan and decrease the overall mobile phone bill by half for each line. For example, if you were to select the AT&T Unlimited Elite plan just for yourself, you would be required to pay $85 per month. But if you were to add up to 10 lines on your plan, your monthly bill will come down to just $40 per month. The more lines you add, the cheaper the service gets. 

Switching to AT&T’s high-tier plans will allow you to make unlimited calls, and send unlimited texts to Canada and Mexico at standard domestic rates. 

Some have rightly argued that none of AT&T’s unlimited mobile plans are “unlimited” because you will face speed reductions after using up the mobile data and hotspot data caps on your plan. But here is where AT&T’s ingenious technology comes into play. AT&T Wireless Unlimited plans come with the ‘Stream Saver’ mode. The mode automatically drops the streaming quality from HD to SD on your mobile devices, allowing you to save between 250MB and 1.5GB of data for a 90-minute streaming session.  

T-Mobile Connect Prepaid Plans 

T-Mobile offers the cheapest prepaid mobile plans in the country. These plans are perfect for those looking for a basic mobile plan just to get by and have some sort of connectivity while away from their friends, family, and colleagues. 

T-Mobile’s prepaid plans start for as low as $10 per month and you get 1GB of data which is sufficient for

  • 16 minutes of Facebook a day
  • Browsing 14 web pages a day
  • Streaming 200 songs on Spotify a month
  • Watching 2 hours of SD-quality video a month
  • Making 200 Whatsapp calls, each 10 mins long 
Plan PriceCallsTextsDataLearn More
1$10/ mo1000 mins10001GBCall Now
2$15/moUnlimited Unlimited3GBCall Now
3$25/moUnlimited Unlimited 6GBCall Now
4$35/moUnlimited Unlimited 12GBCall Now

T-Mobile has the fastest 5G network in the USA, with download speeds ranging between 75 and 335 Mbps. Unlike its other popular counterparts, Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile uses mid-band 5G at the frequency of 1.7GHz to 2.5GHz to guarantee an amazing balance between wide coverage and fast speeds. Typically, the download speeds for the mid-band 5G can range between 100 and 900 Mbps. 

You can add up to 5 mobile lines on all the T-Mobile Connect prepaid plans.

T-Mobile Unlimited Plans

T-Mobile offers three unlimited plans, with premium data caps to its prepaid and postpaid customers. The cheapest unlimited plan costs $60 per month and includes 50GB mobile data and unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds (3 Mbps to 7 Mbps).

PlanPriceCalls TextsDataHotspot
Essentials $60/moUnlimitedUnlimited50GBUnlimited 3G
Magenta $70/moUnlimitedUnlimited100GB5GB- 5G 
Magenta Max $85/moUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited40GB- 5G

You can add up to 6 lines on the T-Mobile Essential plan for a total of just $120 per month. Those with a large family or friend circle will benefit from switching to T-Mobile’s Magenta and Magenta Max plans as you can add up to 12 voice lines on each plan and save up to $40 per month on your phone bill. 

Magenta Max is a truly unlimited mobile plan as users explain that they have never experienced speed throttling after 100GB of data usage. Moreover, you get free access to Netflix from 2 streaming devices when you subscribe to the Magenta Max plan. 

Discounts & Promotions on Mobile Phones

Both T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless have special discounts for veterans, military personnel, students, senior citizens, and first responders (teachers, nurses, and physicians). 

AT&T Wireless Discounts and Promotions

As an AT&T Wireless subscriber, you are eligible for the following discounts on your monthly cell phone service:

  • Military, veterans, teachers, nurses, and physicians can get unlimited plans for as low as $27 per month per line once they add 4 lines to the plan.
  • AT&T Signature Program- Your employer, organization, or school may be a part of the signature program. Sign up through your work or student ID to avail of special discounts on your AT&T Wireless service. 
  • Students can get up to $10 discounts on their AT&T prepaid plans.
  • Customers who are over 55 years of age can save up to $20 per month, per line through the senior citizen discount offer. 
  • All customers get a $5 discount when they pay their bills through AutoPay.

T-Mobile Discounts and Promotions

The following discounts are available to those who subscribe to T-Mobile’s mobile phone service in the USA:

  • Residents of the Federally Recognized Tribal Lands are eligible for a $25 discount on their T-Mobile plans.
  • Lifeline customers get a $9.25 monthly discount on most of the T-Mobile plans as long as they are a T-Mobile employee or a family member of a T-Mobile employee.
  • Senior citizens who are over the age of 55 can get $20 discounts on their unlimited plans. 
  • First responders are eligible for $5 discounts on their unlimited monthly plans.
  • Military persons and veterans can save up to $15 per month on their unlimited Magenta and Magenta Max plans. 

T-Mobile’s 10 Million Project for Education provides free 5G data and mobile hotspots to students from low-income households. Each student can get up to 100GB per month and unlimited hotspot data if their school enrolls for the 10 Million Project. 

Coverage Area

Even though AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile offer coverage in all 50 states of the USA, and their network extends to the US-administered territories of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, AT&T was seen to have better coverage across this footprint, especially in the countryside. AT&T’s reliable 4G network is available in most villages and small towns of the USA and therefore, AT&T is the best choice for mobile phone carriers if you live outside the metropolis or plan to travel to remote areas of the country. 

Customer Service

The telecommunications industry is well-known for its low customer satisfaction scores for internet carriers and mobile phone service providers. Perhaps, when you serve an area as large as the USA and its islands, it is challenging to promise 100 percent service reliability. The inclement weather conditions adversely affect the efficiency of network service providers. 

The highest customer satisfaction score for the telecommunications industry ranges between 65 and 70 percent. AT&T is the undefeated winner of the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Award and currently stands at the top with a score of 730 out of 1000 points. It has also been named the best service provider for meeting the expectations of business customers and has been winning the J.D. Power Business Wireline Satisfaction for the past 5 years. According to Consumer Affairs’ online user reviews, AT&T Wireless has a 3.8 stars rating out of 5 stars. 

In contrast, T-Mobile has faltered behind in delivering customer satisfaction to millions of its subscribers. It stopped receiving the J.D. Power Business Wireless Customer Satisfaction award after 2020 and its current rating on Consumer Affairs is 2.8 stars out of 5 stars. 

Final Verdict: AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile?

Our AT&T Wireless vs T-Mobile comparison leads us to the conclusion that AT&T Wireless is far better than T-Mobile in terms of nationwide network availability, award-winning customer service, and a wide range of benefits like free access to Wi-Fi hotspots, discounts, and mobile phone deals (BYOD, Trade-In). However, if you are looking for a cell phone carrier that offers cheaper plans and high-speed mobile data, then T-Mobile is the perfect mobile phone operator.