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AT&T vs. T-Mobile: A Comparison

In this head to head, we compare T-Mobile 5G vs. AT&T 5GE phone service options.

Are you looking for the latest 4G LTE device at a great price? Do you want an ultra-reliable 5G network, but you’re not sure which provider is right for you? Interested in cell phone plans that include no data caps so you can get the most out of your new smartphone?

If any of this sounds familiar, then you have probably been doing your research on the “big three” phone carriers in the nation: Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.  While there are many other carriers out there that offer prepaid plans — including many TV and Internet services! — these providers rely on the major carriers’ networks to provide phone service. 

So regardless of whether you are looking at a prepaid option like Boost or want to partner directly with a major carrier, it is important to understand what each provider has to offer. With that in mind, the mobile phone service experts at SmartMove have created this head-to-head breakdown. 

Below, we compare T-Mobile 5G vs. AT&T 5GE. We also answer common questions like, “Does AT&T or T-Mobile have better coverage?” so you can choose the best provider for you.

A Closer Look at AT&T

Like most major carriers, AT&T offers unlimited talk and unlimited data plans. They typically have new customer deals on Samsung, LG, and Apple devices, too. If you need a family plan, they have customizable options and straightforward pricing on plans.

For a single line of unlimited data, text and talk, expect your base plan to run between $65 and $85 monthly. Family plans will cost $30 to $70 per month per line for up to five lines. These plans are available with mobile hotspot data of up to 40GB.

Pros of AT&T

The biggest advantage of AT&T is that its service model is highly customizable. You can tailor your unlimited plan to meet your needs.

Additionally, you can get free HBO Max if you sign up for AT&T’s unlimited elite plan. This is a huge incentive if you enjoy HBO content and want to access on-demand video streaming for no extra cost.

Cons of AT&T

AT&T has relatively transparent pricing. However, expect to see those dreaded fees and taxes tacked onto the end of your bill each month. This can offset those seemingly lower prices available via AT&T’s more basic high-speed data plans. 

Another drawback is that you cannot access premium data on AT&T’s unlimited starter plan. This means you will have lower MBPS download speeds and decreased smartphone performance when browsing the web.

The Competition: T-Mobile

When T-Mobile acquired Sprint, it significantly expanded its coverage map and launched the famous “uncarrier” campaign. This campaign was used to advertise its expanded 5G coverage, simplified unlimited plans and other perks.

T-Mobile’s unlimited plan prices range from about $60-$85 per month. Family plans cost $24-$70 per month per line for up to five lines.

Pros of T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s coverage is much better than it used to be. This alone is a huge draw for those looking for affordable phone carriers without compromising service quality. Another benefit is that T-Mobile has two simplified unlimited data plans, which include T-Mobile Magenta and T-Mobile Magenta Max. 

Whereas AT&T is offering free HBO Max, T-Mobile offers Netflix “on us.” While other streaming services have gained ground on Netflix in recent years, it remains the most popular on-demand entertainment option. 

T-Mobile further sets itself apart from AT&T by offering home Internet solutions. These affordable home Internet devices can be purchased via a T-Mobile plan. They provide fast 5G speeds and can replace customers’ home Internet subscriptions. (However, it’s important to note that the jury’s still out on if 5G is strong enough to power an optimal home Internet experience as well as it does for a mobile experience.)

Finally, T-Mobile has transparent pricing. They calculate taxes and fees into their Magenta/Magenta Max plans so customers don’t see any surprises on their monthly bill. They even give a discount for setting up auto pay.

Cons of T-Mobile

The primary downside of T-Mobile is that the basic plans, including Magenta, offer limited hotspot data. Some plans include as little as 5GB per month of hotspot data.

The good news is that you can offset this issue by investing in T-Mobile’s home Internet device. You can also upgrade to T-Mobile’s Magenta Max to unlock 40GB of hotspot data.

Is AT&T Coverage Better than T-Mobile?

Since the Sprint acquisition T-Mobile has had one of the best coverage maps in the nation. Naturally, coverage from both providers could be better in rural areas. However, T-Mobile has better coverage than AT&T in most areas of the country.

If you want to take a closer look at service options from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, SmartMove can help. Connect with us to compare cost, coverage, phone benefits and more in your area. We can help you find deals on the latest devices, like the iPhone 13, and get the coverage you need at an affordable price point.

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