When switching carriers are you thinking about upgrading to the iPhone 14? With strong market competition, major US carriers are offering compelling incentives to new customers. Below we take a special look at T-Mobile vs Verizon, how they compare in terms of speed, how to find real-world maps, how to try both carriers for free right away with an iPhone eSIM, and more.
T-Mobile vs Verizon: Which is the best carrier for you?
TL, DR *
T-Mobile and Verizon will have solid coverage maps on their websites, so here are some tips to figure out what coverage will really be like:
- Check coverage with the independent, third-party Opensignal app
- Opensignal receives real-world data from millions of devices and billions of measurements
- For a quick coverage comparison with Signalchecker
- Do a free eSIM trial to check coverage (available with T-Mobile and Visible/Verizon)
- Talk to friends, family, or people at work who you are considering using a carrier
While Verizon led the way for the largest customers (and still is) with the widest coverage for the last decade, T-Mobile has gained a lot of ground with its acquisition of Sprint and its rapid 5G deployment. That means Verizon is playing catch-up with T-Mobile on 5G coverage as they operate on a more mid-band spectrum.
However, Verizon has surpassed 1,700 US 5G UWB coverage in 1,700 cities this year and recently won first place for quality in a JD Power study.
TL, DR *
- Verizon has the fastest speeds if and where you have 5G UWB coverage
- T-Mobile has the fastest average 5G speeds with most mid-band coverage
Like coverage, carrier speed depends on a mix of factors like your location, device, signal strength, network congestion, and more.
If you live in a small town in our metro area, the speeds can be very different. Verizon leads with the fastest speeds of 1,000+ Mbps if 5G UWB coverage, but T-Mobile now has greater availability with a more moderate 5G mid-band.
Here’s how the three major carriers compare to average US speeds in studies by Ookla and Opensignal as of summer 2022;
Opensignals results show average 5G download speeds in the US as of Q2 2022.
Free and instant eSIM trials
While it’s been a hassle to try out a new carrier in the past, eSIM support on the iPhone and other smartphones has opened up a new possibility.
T-Mobile and Visible (Verizon) are using technology so customers can instantly test their networks freely right next to their existing carrier.
With eSIM tests you can see the current carrier code and the one you are testing at the same time. And you can decide to use an existing carrier and phone number by using the trial for cellular data.
T-Mobile vs. Verizon: Price
This summer Verizon launched a more affordable unlimited plan, but it’s still not as cheap as T-Mobile.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile has added handy new perks like free worldwide data, in-flight data, and more.
While we’ve seen a small price increase from Verizon this year, the strong price competition has kept most of the price going between the two.
However, as T-Mobile touts, it usually offers about 20% less price for unlimited plans compared to Verizon. T-Mobile also includes taxes and fees in its selling prices.
Those prices can vary depending on how many lines you need to change.
|Design / price||T-Mobile||Verizon|
|basic unlimited||$26.25/per phone with autopay and 4 lines||$30/per phone with autopay and 4 lines –
$10-25 total system discount for military/vet/1 responder
|Upgraded unlimited||$35/per phone with autopay and 4 lines
$25/per phone for military/vet/responder with 4 lines 1st
|$35-45/per phone with autopay and 4 lines – $10-25 total system discount for military/vet/1 responder|
|Great infinity||$42.50/per phone with autopay and 4 lines
$35/per phone for military/vet/responder with 4 lines 1st
|$55/per phone with autopay and 4 lines – $10-25 total account discount for military/vet/1 responder|
Both carriers (at the time of writing) are offering up to $800 for a trade-in new device. But T-Mobile is particularly aggressive with up to $650 for early termination fees or covering the current balance of the device.
Both are also free streaming video services with some unlimited plans. And Verizon offers more than just the Disney+ bundle. Depending on the unlimited plan, you’ll be able to get additional perks like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and more.
Meanwhile, Uncarrier is offering “T-Mobile Tuesdays” as perks to regular and savings customers.
Both Verizon and T-Mobile are offering up to 50% of 5G home internet for their cellular customers.
The best affordable option for major carriers
If cutting the price of your phone bill is a priority, check out our full guide on the best affordable iPhone plans.
We go over which of the major networks each provider uses, key features, and more with plans starting at just $10.
T-Mobile vs Verizon conclusion
It’s hard to pick one winner that’s best for everyone when it comes to T-Mobile vs. Verizon. But here are some prosaic details to help you think about your priorities:
- Fastest average speed (Opensignal and Ookla studies)
- Pricing is important
- Create incentives for change
- Much better coverage in the last few years
- Unlimited plans start at $26.25/line – including taxes and fees
- Top in performance quality (recent study Power JD)
- Great overall coverage
- The fastest speeds with 5G UWB are available
- New unlimited plan from $30/line
Hopefully, you now have a clear picture of how major vehicles compare, how to check real-world network coverage, and a hassle-free eSIM trial (T-Mobile or Verizon via Visible). Thanks for reading our guide on T-Mobile vs Verizon!
If you’re curious about how AT&T compares to T-Mobile and Verizon, we have a guide that also includes:
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