Coverage maps help you find areas where you can and can not get service.
But most maps do not show dead zones (local places where your phone doesn't
work) that affect your ability to use a cell phone service. The actual
service you get may be different from the areas shown on the map.
Before buying a new service, and possibly being locked into a plan with
poor coverage, ask for a trial period and check for dead zones along your
Be sure to use the phone handset model you plan to buy, because the RF
performance (radio frequency signal sensitivity) of a handset affects
its dead zones and on-road (in motion) performance.
||Former #5 MVNO uses Verizon Wireless EVDO
network. Voice and data services offer music, video, sports and games
aimed at youth aged 18 to 34 years. Coverage
map and search by ZIP code. Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
June 2007. Suspended operations July 2007.
||#5 national carrier. Large regional CDMA
carrier operates in 36 states (southeast and midwest). Walkie-talkie
map. Jan. 2009 proceeding with merger with Verizon Wireless. Acquired
|| #1 national carrier. Joint venture between
wireless divisions of SBC and BellSouth. Rebranded Cingular Wireless
as AT&T Wireless in 2007. Regional brands: Ameritech, Cellular
One, Houston Cellular, Nevada Bell, Pacific Bell, SBC Wireless, SNET,
Southwestern Bell. GSM, TDMA network. Coverage
maps for GSM voice, data, GoPhone, Smart Limits and Mobile TV.
Check detailed coverage by ZIP code.
||MVNO. Nationwide mobile voice and data
service designed for small business. Owned by Cbeyond Communications.
map of voice and data services.
|| #3 MVNO uses Nextel iDEN network. Provides
prepaid calling plans and calling cards (Re-Boost) for the youth market.
Appeals to Hispanic market with coverage in Baja, Mexico. Walkie-talkie
service. Exclusively Motorola phones. Owned by Sprint. Coverage
map select by state.
One (Dobson Cellular Systems)
||Multi-regional carrier operates in 16 states.
TDMA and GSM networks. Owned by Dobson Communications. Cellular One
name licensed from Western Wireless. Coverage
map search by ZIP code, but no map is available.
One (Western Wireless)
||Small regional carrier operates in 19 western
states under Cellular One and Western Wireless brands. Operates TDMA
and CDMA networks. Licenses the Cellular One brand name to Dobson
Cellular Systems and Cingular Wireless for use in 16 other states.
Formed in 1994 by merger of Pacific Northwest Cellular and General
Cellular. Agreed to be acquired by Alltel. Coverage
list of cities by state.
||Small regional CDMA carrier owns network
in southeast states. Offers unlimited flat rate calling and unlimited
text message plans. Owned by Telepak. Coverage
News lists new cellular tower installations.
|| Mid-size multi-regional CDMA carrier operates
in 20 west coast and central states. Offers flat-rate local calling
and messaging plans, but no roaming. Subsidiary of Leap Wireless.
Coverage map select
||MVNO uses Sprint network. Services focused
on children and families, such as easy-to-use features and family
usage controls. Owned by The Walt Disney Co. Coverage
map and search by ZIP code. Plans to cease operations on Dec.
||Wireless e-mail and voice services for
BlackBerrys and laptops. Treo
handset coverage map. Samsung
handset coverage map.
||Sports information available through Verizon
Wireless. Former Disney-owned MVNO terminated service in Sep.
||MVNO. Offers video, music and games to
teens and young adults. Joint-venture between EarthLink and Korea-based
SK Telecom. Coverage
map and search by ZIP code.
|| #4 MVNO uses nationwide Sprint Network.
Only no-contract calling plans. Owned by InPhonic (filed for Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection in Nov. 2007). Coverage
||Local operator in San Francisco, Sacramento,
Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Sarasota and Atlanta. No-contract flat-rate
calling plans. Coverage
area search by ZIP code.
||MVNO uses Sprint network in 20 states.
Services for Hispanic consumers and Spanish-language content. Owned
by Movida Communications, Inc. and backed by The Cisneros Group. Coverage
map (English). Coverage
map (Spanish). Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April
|| #3 national carrier. Uses iDEN network.
Exclusively Motorola phones. Pioneered national two-way radio dispatch
(walkie-talkie) service for business. Merged with Sprint Wireless
in 2005. Digital
cellular voice and walkie-talkie coverage map. Search by ZIP code.
||MVNO. Prepaid calling plans. No contracts.
Low international calling rates. Coverage
||MVNO. Owned by Primus Telecommunications,
| Qwest Wireless
|| Merged with CenturyLink
in April 2011. Provides wireless services through partnership with
||MVNO serves Chinese-speaking customers
with Chinese-language Motorola handsets and low calling rates to Asia.
Uses AT&T's GSM network.
||MVNO uses Sprint mobile network. Promotes
VoIP calls using WiFi, and has access to 3G voice and data services.
Division of Bandwidth.com. Launched Nov 2011.
Speak Out Wireless Services
||MVNO uses Cingular Wireless network. Prepaid
plans. Owned by 7-Eleven, Inc.
||Regional carrier serving southeast states.
Uses iDEN network. Exclusively Motorola phones. Walkie-talkie service.
Owned by Southern Company. Coverage
maps for national, regional and local calling plans.
|| #3 national carrier. All-CDMA network,
no analog network. A Sprint Corporation unit. Merged with Nextel in
and data coverage map. Search by state or ZIP code.
||Regional reseller provides services in
six southeast states, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Coverage
area lists market areas served. Acquired by T-Mobile USA in Feb.
2008. Founded as Triton PCS
||MVNO uses Sprint mobile network. Voice
plans adjust rate tier (up or down) based on usage. Coverage
map. Owned by Tucows. Launched Feb 2012.
|| #4 national carrier. First national GSM
network. No analog network. Formerly VoiceStream (merger of Aerial,
OmniPoint, and Powertel). Bought by Germany-based Deutsche Telekom
in 2001, which uses T-Mobile as its global wireless brand. Coverage
map shows signal strength. Search by address or road intersection.
||#2 MVNO operates largest nation-wide prepaid
wireless service. On CDMA and TDMA networks. Owned by America Movil,
which owns TelCel, the largest mobile carrier in Mexico and Latin
map search by ZIP code.
| US Cellular
||Large multi-regional carrier operates AMPS,
TDMA and CDMA networks in 26 states. Majority-owned by Telephone and
Data Systems. Coverage
coverage by ZIP code or city/state.
|| #2 national carrier. CDMA network. Joint
venture of Verizon Communications and UK-based Vodafone after merger
of Bell Atlantic Mobile, Vodafone/Airtouch Cellular, GTE Wireless
and PrimeCo. Operated by Cellco Partnership. Rate
and coverage map. Search by city, ZIP code or rate plan. Also
Prepaid Pay As You Go coverage map. Jan. 2009 merger with Alltel will
make Verizon the largest US wireless carrier.
|| #1 MVNO uses Sprint CDMA network. Targets
young consumers. Offers only prepaid services. Coverage
map search by ZIP code or city/state. 83% owned by U.K.-based
Virgin Mobile. Planned
acquisition by Sprint to close by early 2010.
| Voce Wireless
|| MVNO uses Cingular, Sprint or T-Mobile
network. Targets luxury market with exclusive handsets, automatic
data back-up and regular free handset upgrades. Planned launch in
New York and Los Angeles in early 2006. Expansion to top 10 cities
by end 2006. Majority-owned by Japan-based content provider Faith,