What You Should Really Look for in Your Wireless Network

Modern mobile users are spoiled for choice, with a variety of wireless networks all promising to keep you connected. While choice is appreciated, so many options can also make selecting the right wireless network more difficult. Consider the following to find the best wireless network for your needs.

Consider the Network’s Coverage

You’ve probably seen maps showing each wireless network’s coverage. There are two types of coverage you need to consider: data and cellular. When a network provider has a large data network, you are able to connect your device to the internet in many locations. The cellular network refers to the area where clear voice calls can be made. If you tend to surf the Web or use apps requiring data often, the data network will be the most important. If you talk and text more often than you use online features, a provider’s cellular network will be more important.

There’s also the type of data network to consider. A comprehensive 3G network might suit owners of old smartphones, but this type of network offers relatively slow internet access. A large 4G LTE network lets people with the latest smartphones enjoy faster internet.

You’ll find most networks have good data and cellular coverage in urban areas. If you live in the city, you’re likely to find most wireless providers will meet your needs. However, if you’re in a regional or rural location, you’ll need to look at the network maps more closely to find a provider with good service in your local area. Also, consider how your device will work in places you visit regularly, like favorite vacation destinations, when making your choice.

Look for Inclusions That Suit Your Lifestyle

Many wireless networks offer inclusions that help separate their plans from competitors and entice new customers. Think about how you like to use your mobile device and research plans to find the one with the best inclusions for you.

For example, the T-Mobile ONE plan uses T-Mobile’s extensive LTE network by offering unlimited LTE data and texting across more than 140 countries and destinations. This is an ideal offer for people who travel regularly and rely on fast internet to stay in touch with loved ones at home.

You may also find plans with unlimited music and video, ideal for commuters who want to be entertained on public transport each day, and plans offering bill credit to customers who only use a small amount of data, ideal for people who rarely use the Web on the go. A plan with rollover data credits will suit people who tend to use little data in their ordinary life, but a lot of data when they’re on vacation, for example.

Learn What Other Customers Think

If other people like a wireless network, chances are that you will, too. Ask your local family members and friends which network they use and how they find them. Read independent reports like Nielsen Mobile Insights, which ranked T-Mobile as the best wireless network for customer service satisfaction in 2016. You can also learn more about what customers are saying on wireless network social media pages. Consider carefully any praise and complaints customers leave and how the wireless network addresses both types of comments.

Consider the Price

While all the other features matter, for many consumers the decision comes down to the bottom line. All wireless networks offer a variety of plans at a range of price points. Assess which plan from which provider will work best for your needs.

There’s no point choosing an inexpensive plan if its data limit is so small that you’ll end up paying surcharges for more data. However, if your plan is bundled with unlimited data for streaming videos and movies, perhaps you can get by on a more affordable wireless plan with less data. After all, there’s no point spending more on a plan that offers much more than you really need.

By carefully considering the way you use your smartphone or tablet and the features each wireless network offers, you can feel confident you’ll make the right decision.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.