Nationwide Cell Phone Coverage - Republic Wireless in Tiger, Georgia

Published Dec 26, 21
4 min read

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Cell Signal Coverage data for the whole of the USAOur database contains cell coverage information for AT&T, USCellular, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Results show indoor and outdoor coverage for voice calls, 3G data, 4G (LTE) data, and 5G data for every zip code in the USA for each carrier. Before you sign up with a new carrier, you need to be sure that you can get good reception - both good coverage and a reliable signal - where you live and work.

Over 90% of the US has good cell coverage; it's generally only rural areas where you might not get a signal. However, not all carriers provide the same level of coverage across the whole country. They can vary massively from one state to the next. So, a carrier that works for someone in a Southern State might not be the right choice for someone in the Northwest.

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We check all the main carriers at once, saving you the time and effort of having to visit them all individually. There are three main carriers that provide cellular coverage across the US. In order of size, they are:A fourth company, Sprint, merged with T-Mobile in April 2020. While existing customers won't have to switch for the foreseeable future, the Sprint brand has been retired and new customers must join T-Mobile.

These companies build and maintain their own cellphone network infrastructure, including the phone towers that you can see all around your towns and cities. The more of these towers you have in your area, the better the signal will be from the carrier that owns them. As well as the main carriers, there are two other categories of carrier that you can choose from.

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USCellular is the fourth-largest carrier in the US - their own network covers around 10% of the country, and they partner with the other three carriers to flesh out their coverage elsewhere. MVNOs: Mobile Virtual Network Operators don't maintain their own networks, they rent and resell coverage from one of the three main carriers.

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Big names include Virgin Mobile, Google Fi, Mint Mobile, and Cricket Wireless. MVNOs will often offer prepaid deals. This means you don't have to sign a contract, but pay in advance for an allowance of data and calls instead. These often work out a little more expensive, but the convenience might be worth it, especially if you don't use your phone that much.

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Coverage for each can differ from one region to the next, and the one that you use can also be dictated by what you're doing on your phone and what type of phone you've got. 5G: the latest type of data connection - it's truly rapid, with speeds over 1Gbps.

It has been rolled out in parts of large cities around the country, but you'll have to wait several years before it becomes common nationwide. The new i, Phone 12 supports 5G.4G (LTE): the previous generation is used for data, as well as voice calls (depending on your phone and carrier).

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You can get speeds over 150Mbps. 3G: now used for data and voice where an LTE connection is not available. You won't use it much, but if you do you could get speeds of 7. 2Mbps. Voice: the most basic type of coverage is voice (or 2G), used for calls and text messaging over SMS (i, Message and similar apps use the 4G or 5G network).

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There can be some technical issues, though. Different carriers' networks run on different frequencies, and your phone needs to support these. Most modern phones do support them all. For voice calls, the situation also used to be complicated. Carriers used one of two types of cellular tech - GSM or CDMA - and you needed a phone that was compatible with whichever service your carrier used.

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LTE (for 4G) is a different technology again, so unless you're still using a very old device you don't need to worry about it. The main thing that affects your cell signal is your carrier's coverage. If you're literally stood next to one of their cell towers you'll have a perfect signal.

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This can affect your data download speeds, or result in dropped calls. There are other factors, too:Your environment: the signal from a cell tower can be blocked by large physical objects. Your signal can be worse indoors than outdoors, in the basement, or if you're surrounded by skyscrapers or mountains.

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Crowds: if you're in a crowded place, with lots of people trying to connect to the same cell tower at the same time, you're likely to find the speeds a lot slower - and you might not be able to connect at all. Your phone: every phone gets its signal through a built-in antenna.