Even though it has millions of subscribers in the US, America Movil may not be recognized by wireless users. Their services are known by a number of names: TracFone, Straight Talk, Net10, Page Plus and several others. Most of these companies offer a Prepaid wireless product but all of them utilize the facilities of the other major cellular carriers as well has some regional networks. Each America Movil "carrier" offers a slightly different flavor of wireless service, some of which can be very low cost. In Puerto Rico and outside the US, America Movil is a major wireless player with their own network facilities and beneficial relationships with other communications companies and manufacturers. Get more information about their networks and products on the Mountain Prepaid America Movil Page.
Appalachian has good coverage along the Kentucky - Virginia border with a good selection of CDMA phones, including several Smart phones and data cards. They have a wide variety of a la carte plans that are priced above average. They charge extra for most Calling Features. Their Prepaid plans are expensive for so few features and they have misleading names: the "3G" plan is actually a "3GB" plan. It caught our eye when they claimed a "5G" plan. Since you can only order service on the phone or at the store we're sure there will be no confusion. They have upgraded much of their network to 4G LTE.
The Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative (ASTAC) provides good GSM service across the northern coast of Alaska. Plans are reasonable and are available with Unlimited use based on Statewide or National coverage. They offer 4G coverage in all areas and 2G phones won't work there. Plan prices start at $15 and their Lifeline program is Free. They have a very large number of Data plans to tailor your cost to your usage. As part of the local telephone cooperative, customer service is better than average and locals are very loyal to this hometown wireless supplier. Bundle discounts are available. They have a surprisingly large selection of phones including smartphones and the Apple iPhone. AT&T has invested in the ASTAC network to provide better broadband coverage to their own customers who are roaming in northern Alaska yielding benefits for local users as well.
As one of the Top 4 networks in the US, most of us know much about AT&T. They are generally considered second nationally in coverage and numbers of subscribers. In some areas AT&T has the best coverage, and in others they can be in third place. With GSM technology, AT&T roams more readily internationally, but there are areas in the US with no GSM coverage. AT&T's takeover of other cellular networks has improved their service in some areas already, including Alaska. AT&T offers a large selection of GSM phones. AT&T gets credit for competing with products and price. Most network improvements are being made in their new markets and are increasing data capacity instead of adding cell sites in older areas. They have added 4G and LTE coverage in almost all markets. AT&T in some markets is among those with the top data download speeds, but not all. AT&T has acquired wireless networks in Mexico and offer seamless, nationwide wireless service on both sides of the US/Mexico border with big benefits for traveling AT&T customers and users with family in both countries. AT&T offers Prepaid and also operates Cricket Wireless.
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AT&T Prepaid Review
BIG SKY MOBILE
Big Sky Mobile has agreed to be acquired by T-Mobile. This includes licenses and facilities. We don't know what happened to their customers, or if they had any. Nobody we talked to in Bozeman, MT had heard of them.
Bluegrass Cellular is located in central Kentucky and is operated by a combination of 5 rural Kentucky telephone co-ops. They have a moderate selection of CDMA phones and devices including smartphones. They have very good coverage across their own network, which is mostly 4G LTE, and they offer a number of generous plans. Nationwide roaming is available. They also offer competitive Data plans for home Internet and tablets. As part of the local telephone cooperatives, they have better than average customer service. They often offer several customer appreciation benefits.
This small CDMA system serves several cities across upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. They offer a choice of Unlimited plans starting at only $18, each with several add-ons available including Data. All plans are prepaid. They offer a small number of low-end phones including a few smartphones. Coverage within their own service areas is acceptable, but driving between their separate, local service areas could incur roaming charges. Voice roaming is available nationwide but 4G - LTE Data roaming outside Blue's home area appears to be limited to the Sprint network. Customer Service and their Data capabilities are unknown as they have yet to answer when we call.
Bravado Wireless, the new name for the former Sprocket Wireless, is a small CDMA carrier serving the east central part of Oklahoma just south of Tulsa. They have narrowed down the number of plans they offer. However, you can add 30Gb of data for $250, OR, go Unlimited for only $40 per month. The stores can't explain the anomaly because nobody asks for the more expensive plan. Sprocket's Unlimited coverage was limited to their local area, we don't know about Bravado's, yet. They have expanded their small selection of phones to include most of the iPhone line. Coverage is adequate. They have added some 4G Data and they offer "Lifeline" plans. They also offer wireless home Internet access. Their current rating is based on the old Sprocket network performance but it may improve based on their simpler plans, wider phone selection and larger 4G-LTE coverage. Bravado is operated by the Cross Telephone Company who also offers cellular service in adjacent counties as Cross Wireless.
Breakaway has ceased their cellular operation as of 2018. As a part of the Manti Telecommunication Company in Utah, they may use the network for wireless Internet, but they have not yet told us what happened to the cellular network or its customers.
BRISTOL BAY CELLULAR
Bristol Bay covers the upper Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Plans offer Unlimited minutes but are pricey for just local coverage. They have a small selection of CDMA phones which are unlocked. While Bristol Bay sells some smartphones we do not know what broadband capabilities are available, if any. Bristol Bay customers are able to roam in Anchorage and the mainland US. You need to submit an application for service and a contract is required. We don't know if they allow roaming by other wireless customers. Lifeline plans are available. In some areas they provide the only telephone service. Bristol Bay is operated by the local telephone cooperative so they should be a bit easier to deal with, but they have shared few details with us outsiders.
Broadpoint in the Gulf of Mexico has been acquired by Tampnet, 2017.
CAROLINA WEST WIRELESS
Carolina West has good Local coverage in their service area of western North Carolina. They offer a variety of plans that are priced about average. Data plans are reasonably priced. They have a good selection of CDMA phones including smartphones, the iPhone, wireless home phones and air cards. Carolina West is co-owned by several local telephone cooperatives and has better than average customer service. They are also involved in their local communities. They have added 4G-LTE service to most of their coverage area and now also offer nationwide 4G-LTE roaming. CELLULAR ONE (MTPCS)
This Cellular One is made up of parts of the former Centennial Wireless in the South, and parts of AT&T and the old Cellular One in Texas. Cellular One completely shut down their Montana and Wyoming network. They have very good GSM coverage in rural areas of Louisiana and Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico. They offer all the digital goodies and have a moderate selection of older phones including smartphones, but they do not offer the Apple iPhone. Their plans are more expensive than average and, while they will sell you "4G" capable phones, we cannot determine if they offer any 4G coverage of their own. They have reasonable plans for local wireless home phone and Internet access and they support Lifeline plans.
Cellular One Coverage Maps
CELLULAR ONE OF NORTHEAST ARIZONA
Cellular One has very good coverage in and around the Native American lands along the northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico border with additional coverage in the extreme southeastern corner of Utah. Parts of their network have been upgraded to 4G - LTE and the rest operates at 3G. They have a number of special, low-cost wireless programs. They also support fixed wireless service for homes away from wirelines. They offer a number of reasonable plans with various levels of Data add-ons. They have a good selection of phone models including Smart phones and older iPhones. Their prepaid plans are only available with a few phone models but there are multiple Data and Messaging add-ons. They have a few creative programs including "Free Phone for Life" and they support Lifeline plans.
Cellcom provides excellent coverage in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Their plans are complicated and overpriced. They offer a long list of sophisticated CDMA phones including smartphones, the iPhone and home phone devices. They have upgraded most, if not all, of their network to 4G - LTE. They also offer a good selection of their phones for Prepaid accounts. Their prepaid charges are fairly high but include Nationwide Unlimited calls and reasonable Data add-ons. Their Lifeline Plans are priced way above average, but they can include Data, and their Tribal Lifeline Plan includes many more minutes and features at a slightly lower price. Cellcom has local stores and has a reputation for slightly higher customer service.
CHARITON VALLEY WIRELESS
Chariton serves the north central part of Missouri. They offer Local, Regional, National, Unlimited and Lifeline plans. Most plans are reasonable, especially since most features are Unlimited. Their Prepaid plans are expensive, unless you use data, and their Lifeline plans are overpriced. They have 4G LTE coverage available on their own network as well as roaming where 4G is available, mostly on Verizon Wireless. Since they are part of the local telephone cooperative we expect customer service to be better than average if you can find the right person. They have a good selection of CDMA wireless devices including smartphones, iPhones, air cards and wireless home phones. Bundle discounts depend on where you are located.
Offering service in southwest Iowa, Chat Mobility offers generous plans with everything included, however, adding Data to their plans makes them somewhat overpriced. They have a moderate selection of CDMA phones including smartphones, iPhones and air cards. Coverage is adequate and they claim all 4G-LTE coverage. Off-network roaming is seamless and is included in their regular plans. They offer "Lifeline" service (based on support programs) but they are expensive, their Prepaid plans are reasonable.
Choice serves rural and small-town customers in 9 western US states. They offer mostly National "Unlimited" plans at a fixed price, starting at $20 a month, $30 with some data included. They use CDMA phones, they have excellent coverage, and their plans have a simplified structure that includes a certain amount of US roaming minutes. They have a moderate number of phone models including smartphones and they allow you to bring your own phone from another CDMA carrier. All plans are prepaid so there are no contracts, and they offer monthly, pay-as-you-go and pay-per-day plans, and an Unlimited Data plan. Most areas support 3G broadband and 4G-LTE in the Navajo Nation. They offer wireless Internet devices which could give you the fastest broadband service available in a rural area. Choice supports Free or low-cost LifeLine service. Choice Wireless operates their own network so when you are in your "home" area, you are not using another company's network. There is no relationship between this Choice Wireless and the Choice Wireless in northern Texas.
CLARO PUERTO RICO
Claro has very good coverage across most of the island. The network is owned by America Movil and is operated like other America Movil networks in Latin America and not like their prepaid-only services offered in mainland US. Their expanded GSM network operates mostly with 4G LTE coverage. They have a large selection of phones and also offer several other communications services. We have no reports about customer service, but the owner is a large Latin America-based wireless company so they have a number of advantages over the others. Claro does not offer an English language web site.
Cleartalk, a CDMA carrier in small communities in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, has been acquired by Boost Mobile as of February 28th, 2018, which means if you have a Cleartalk phone, it will act like a Sprint phone and will use the nationwide Sprint network. It is not clear whether Cleartalk will turn off their own cell sites. Cleartalk stores become Boost Mobile stores.
Consumer Cellular is reviewed on our Prepaid Reviews Page
COPPER VALLEY WIRELESS
Copper Valley Wireless is part of the Copper Valley Telecom based in Valdez. They provide good local coverage in most of the larger inhabited areas of the state. They have reasonable price plans with statewide and mainland US roaming included but they get very expensive when Data is added. They have a good selection of CDMA phones and they offer fixed wireless service and broadband coverage. As part of the local telecommunications co-op, service is above average and bundle discounts are available. Copper Valley has upgraded most of its network to 4G - LTE.
Cordova is part of the Cordova Telephone Cooperative along the coast of Alaska, south of Valdez. They have a good selection of GSM phones including smartphones, feature phones and iPhones. They have a large number of plans, some reasonably-priced until you choose Unlimited or add any Data, then they're overpriced. They serve some areas where there isn't any other telephone service available. They offer discount bundles with their other communications services including free cell phone service when tied to your home land line. They are upgrading their network to 4G LTE coverage which will be available for both mobile and fixed wireless services. LifeLine accounts are available for $1 per month with an activation fee of $35.
Cricket is now reviewed at Prepaid Reviews.
Cross Wireless is a small CDMA carrier, part of the Cross Telephone Company of eastern Oklahoma. They have Regional and National plans which are a little cheaper than average. They offer a large variety of Unlimited plans including Nationwide Data. They are adding 4G Data but they only offer a small number of phones. As part of the local telephone company we expected their customer service to be above average, but we can't get them to answer the phone and don't offer bundles with their other communications services. We have no coverage reports for their network. They also offer wireless broadband access for home as well as Lifeline plans with several add-on features available. Cross also offers cellular service as Bravado Wireless in areas east of Tulsa.
C SPIRE WIRELESS
C Spire has very good coverage on their own network in Mississippi, greater Memphis, parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle. They have several plans, all of which include Unlimited Talk & Text and nationwide roaming. Some plans are very reasonable for the amount of data they include and some of their features are very creative. Users report very good coverage and like the choice of plans. They offer a good selection of CDMA phones including the iPhone, and have good customer service. C Spire claims their 4G - LTE network is the fastest available, even faster than home Internet services. They also offer a unique batch of consumer-oriented benefits that help integrate wireless devices, plans and features for both customers and non-customers. They offer LifeLine plans. C Spire is among the Top 10 US wireless companies which gives them the ability to offer a large number of services and devices.
CTC Wireless is the cellular service provided by the Cambridge Telephone Company of Cambridge, Idaho. CTC offers their own wireless service in Cambridge and surrounding towns, but in places like Boise, where they offer wireline service, they offer wireless only as a re-seller of Verizon Wireless. CTC offers a moderate selection of plans on their own network starting at $10. Most plans are overpriced although the Unlimited plans are reasonable. They offer a small selection of phones including a couple of smartphones with inventory changing regularly. Customer service is adequate and Lifeline plans are available. They claim 3G coverage in most areas of their own network. Bundles are not available with their other communications services. CTC's wireless services are no longer shown on their web site. Until then, you'll need to visit their Cambridge store in person or call 208-257-3314.
CUSTER TELEPHONE WIRELESS
Custer Wireless is the wireless network of the Custer Telephone Cooperative in central Idaho. Their CDMA network provides good coverage in and around their wireline service area, mostly in the Salmon River valley. Most of this area is not covered by other carriers. Most of their network has been upgraded to 4G. Plans are reasonably priced. Roaming is available on nearby local wireless networks and Verizon Wireless. They have a small selection of phones including smartphones. Customer service is very good. They offer other communications products but do not offer any bundle discounts with wireless.