Here’s what you should expect on average to overpay with one of the 3 major wireless providers in the US compared to the cheapest plan available:
TheBooq.com is a website where anyone can collaborate with other people to create one pager Internet search results in order to create information that is missing on the web or just improve existing search results. One of the initiatives in 2022 (August data) was finally putting together single line cell phone plans for almost all US providers (27 total) into a single spreadsheet:
This allowed not only to find the best price for every data plan (number of GBs you’d like to have per month) but also to see how the 3 major US wireless providers, Verizon, T-Mobile and ATT compare to other players in pricing. Sometimes there are many nuances and additional services behind many particular plans which we didn’t account for in this research which could serve as a starting point of making a decision of what additional benefits you will get if you overpay for your service with a major provider.
If you’re not using one of the 3 major companies for your service chances are your speed will be slower compared to what they provide due to deprioritization when the wireless network you're on gives priority to other users and slows down your data speeds. But for many users it would be hard to notice this difference. There are different levels of deprioritization and major winners of our price comparison, US Mobile (runs on Verizon network) and Mint (runs on T-Mobile) are actually not deprioritized as much as many other carriers. Overall unfortunately it’s close to impossible to understand what network and what provider is the best for your particular geography until you try it by yourself.
Here’re the best and worst cities for Verizon, T-Mobile and ATT. But even if you’re from a small number of cities mentioned in these reports you still may find out that your particular part of town is covered better by a network that is not considered the best by one of these reports as they average results by large geography.