So, last week was phones and this week I am moving on to cover phone plans. More specifically, I’d like to give you some background as far as what the carrier market looks like right now, and then some different options that might work for you. But first, an overview.
The phone carrier market basically boils down to 4 major carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Sprint and T-Mobile are trying to merge right now, so soon we might only have a big 3. Anyway, these 4 carriers and the networks they have built out are basically the only options available in the US – chances are, you are going to be on one of their networks.
But wait, you say. There are all kinds of commercials everywhere with other networks, and they are always talking about how much of America they cover. Where do they factor in? These other carriers, like MetroPCS or Cricket, are called MVNOs, which stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. And what that essentially boils down to is that these MNVOs piggyback on one of the networks owned by a big 4 carrier. And in many cases, MNVOs are owned by a big carrier. For example, ATT owns Cricket, which runs on its network.
These MNVOs are a great option for people who are willing to make a change – and often times, you won’t even notice a change in your day to day, because your new carrier runs on the same network as your old carrier….