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Verizon Unlimited Welcome vs. T-Mobile Essentials vs. AT&T Unlimited Starter: Which to Choose?

Verizon Unlimited Welcome vs. T-Mobile Essentials vs. AT&T Unlimited Starter: Which to Choose?

    Verizon,T-Mobile and AT&T are three behemoth carriers in the US. They are household names and there's more than a good chance that you know exactly who they are.If you’re shopping for an unlimited data plan with one of the major wireless providers, how do you choose among them?Each carrier offers three different types of unlimited plans to choose from: entry-level plans, mid-tier plans, and top-tier plans.Let’s start with the entry-level plans:Verizon Start Unlimited,T-Mobile Essentials and AT&T Unlimited Starter.These are the most affordable, and probably the plans most people are going to be considering.

    What is included in the Verizon Unlimited Welcome plan?What is included in the T-Mobile Essentials?What is included in the AT&T Unlimited Starter plan?What is the difference between Verizon Welcome Unlimited and T-Mobile Essentials?What is the difference betweenVerizon Unlimited Welcome vs. T-Mobile Essentials vs. AT&T Unlimited Starter:which is the best unlimited phone plan?Verizon vs. T-Mobile vs. AT&T:which network has the best coverage?In this guide,I'll be comparing the three unlimited plans and letting you know which ones are the best.If you’re deciding among these unlimited plans from T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, this article is for you.


What Is Verizon?


Verizon is one of the largest communication technology companies in the world.The company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers' demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

Verizon offers the most reliable coverage in the country.They have the best 4G LTE coverage in the US, with 70%, which is superior to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, among others.They also have a more extensive 5G LTE network in place than any other provider at the moment, and they were the first to implement the use of 5G successfully.Their plans are regarded as being more expensive than most of their competitors.But they offer several noteworthy incentives if you’re willing to sign up for a family plan with unlimited streaming data, including Apple Music, Disney+, and buy-one, get-one-free offers on certain phone models.

Verizon Pros And Cons

  • Excellent network coverage.

  • Lots of plans to choose from.

  • Very fast data speeds.

  • Mix and match family plans.

  • Entertainment perks.

  • International benefits.

  • Discounts for first responders, teachers, nurses, military, and seniors.

  • Higher prices.

  • Very limited mm-wave 5G availability.

  • Hidden fees and taxes.

  • Limited range of plans.

  • Unlimited' plans are not unlimited.

Verizon Unlimited Welcome Plan Review

Verizon says that the Unlimited Welcome is its best price yet on unlimited talk, text, and 5G/LTE data.For most people who just want the base service, Welcome is probably more than enough.

Verizon Unlimited Welcome Plan Includes:

  • 5G and 4G LTE  

  • Unlimited talk, text & data

  • Mexico & Canada talk, text & data

  • International texting 

  • Streaming

  • Home Internet starting at $40/month, service availability varies 

Verizon Unlimited Welcome Plan Price:

The cost for 1 Unlimited Welcome line with no discounts is $75 (plus taxes and fees). However, your final monthly plan cost depends on:

  • How many other unlimited plans are on your account.

  • If you sign up for the $10/line per month Auto Pay and paper-free billing. 

  • If you add optional perks: Each line with this plan can add perks for entertainment, travel, shopping and more for an added $10/month per line.

  • If you can take advantage of Verizon deals and discounts that can reduce your monthly bill.

The table lists the price per line of each plan plus taxes and fees and after a discount for enrolling in automatic payments and paper-free billing.

1 line$65/line
2 lines$55/line
3 lines$40/line
4 lines$30/line

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What Is T-Mobile?


T-Mobile is the brand name used by the mobile communications subsidiaries of the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG. The brand is also active in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United States. T-Mobile is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States.T-Mobile has the most 5G coverage in the U.S. right now, but the carrier's 5G speeds are nothing compared to Verizon's.

However, if you want to be cool and say you’re using 5G, you can do that for free with T-Mobile in more locations! You can also use T-Mobile 5G indoors which is what other carriers are lacking right now. 

T-Mobile Pros And Cons

  • Cheaper prices than Verizon.

  • More premium data on some plans.

  • Best data speeds.

  • Solid coverage.

  • Excellent unlimited plans.

  • Good international perks.

  • Best for consumers who want reliable 5G coverage.

  • Lacking coverage in rural areas.

  • Advertising can be somewhat annoying.

  • Not recommended for consumers who don’t need a ton of data.

  • No superfast 5G speeds due to little to no mm-wave 5G access.

  • Smaller US network.

T-Mobile Essentials Plan Review

T-Mobile's Essentials Plan does exactly what its name suggests — gives you all the essential features of a cell phone plan at a great price. The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data as well as 3G mobile hotspot and standard definition video streaming.You don’t get Netflix or Apple TV, but you do get 50GB of priority data. You also will have extras like the ability to finance a phone, free phone upgrades for select devices, and more. You can add lines on your account and get Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for each phone.

However, Essentials customers will be lower-priority traffic in congested areas, so you might see some slowdown in big cities or during large events.

T-Mobile Essentials Plan Includes:

  • Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE data

  • Unlimited talk & text

  • Nationwide 5G coverage

  • Exclusive perks with T-Mobile Tuesdays

  • Dedicated customer care

  • Advanced scam-blocking protection

  • 50GB premium data

  • Unlimited 3G hotspot

  • $5 disc. per line up to 6 lines w/AutoPay & eligible payment method.

T-Mobile Essentials Plan Price:

Starting at $60 for one line but going as cheap as $25 a line for four lines, Essentials is the cheapest postpaid option.However, unlike more premium unlimited T-Mobile plans, T-Mobile Essentials doesn't include taxes and fees in its upfront price, which can add between 10-12% to the total cost.Here is the full pricing breakdown for T-Mobile Essentials.

1 line$60/line
2 lines$45/line
3 lines$30/line
4 lines$25/line
5 lines$20/line

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What Is AT&T?


AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. The current company dates to SBC, one of the regional operating companies spun out of the conglomerate once known as American Telephone and Telegraph when a court ordered the Bell System’s breakup in 1984. AT&T is the world's fourth-largest telecommunications company by revenue and the largest wireless carrier in the United States. 

Today’s AT&T provides nationwide wireless 4G and 5G service as well as residential wired broadband service in its regional markets. Over the last five years, AT&T also bought WarnerMedia and DirecTV.AT&T is a fantastic carrier with the second-best 5G and 4G LTE coverage areas. Its great plan lineup, solid phone selection, and awesome benefits make it a compelling mobile service provider.

AT&T Pros And Cons

  • Great national coverage.

  • Excellent selection of plans and phones.

  • Great bundle deals.

  • Slightly fewer add-ons.

  • Good with data users.

  • Few inclusions for the cost.

  • Basic tiers slightly more expensive.

AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan Review

The Unlimited Starter plan might be AT&T's least expensive unlimited plan, but includes all the essentials: unlimited minutes, messages, and data!

This cell phone plan includes more than just the unlimited minutes, messages, and data. AT&T will help you avoid phone scams with automatic fraud blocking and Spam Risk alerts, both of which are included with this plan.

AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan Includes:

  • 5G and 4G LTE 

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in and between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico

  • AT&T ActiveArmorSM security

  • 5GB hotspot data per line per month

  • Standard-definition streaming

  • Unlimited texting from the U.S. to 200+ countries

AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan Price:

AT&T Unlimited Stater costs $65.99 a month for a single line of data,and you can add multiple lines.You can save money every month with AT&T's AutoPay and paperless billing discounts.The table lists the price per line of each plan plus taxes and fees.

1 line$65.99/line
2 lines$60.99/line
3 lines$45.99/line
4 lines$35.99/line
5 lines$30.99/line

Verizon Unlimited Welcome vs. T-Mobile Essentials vs. AT&T Unlimited Starter: Comparison Table

Verizon Unlimited Welcome

T-Mobile Essentials

AT&T Unlimited Starter

Single-line cost$65/line$60/line$65.99/line
Taxes and fees includedx
Per line cost, 4-line plan$30/line$25/line$35.99/line
5G and 4G LTE 
Unlimited Talk & Text
Canada & Mexico included
Premium datax50GBx
Mobile hotspot xUnlimited at 3G speeds5GB
International textingx
Streaming QualityStandard-definition streaming(480p)Standard-definition streaming(480p)

Standard-definition streaming(480p)

Verizon vs. T-Mobile vs. AT&T: What's the Difference?

1. Coverage


Verizon stands out as the stalwart companion with its expansive 4G LTE network, complemented by areas of super-fast 5G. Verizon is like the Superman of 4G LTE, soaring high with coverage that blankets 70% of the country.This expansive reach is particularly beneficial in rural and remote areas where connectivity can be sparse. Verizon's commitment to these regions makes it a reliable choice for customers who frequently find themselves outside of urban centers.

Verizon Coverage Map



T-Mobile, which boasts 62% 4G LTE network coverage, lacks 4G infrastructure in some rural areas.However, T-Mobile tops the game when it comes to 5G coverage.A recent 5G coverage test report by OOKLA indicates that T-Mobile has 68.5% 5G coverage against AT&T’s 55.8%. 

T-Mobile coverage map



AT&T boasts the second-best network in both 4G LTE and 5G coverage. Its impressive 4G LTE network spans 68% of the nation, which is just shy of Verizon's 70% coverage. However, when it comes to 5G coverage, particularly appealing to those in urban and suburban areas. Here, AT&T is like an oasis of high-speed connectivity, offering a significant advantage for city dwellers and suburbanites. 

AT&T coverage map


2. Price

AT&T presents its entry-level Unlimited Starter SL plan at $65.99/month, catering to users who seek essential services without complexity. In contrast, Verizon's Unlimited Welcome plan, priced similarly, provides a foundational package but with a unique set of attributes.AT&T focuses on delivering straightforward, connectivity-centric plans, whereas Verizon adds a layer of customization through its a la carte options for additional features, albeit at a higher cost.

For those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of the highest-tier plans, T-Mobile has more basic options. T-Mobile's Essentials plan, for example, offers unlimited 3G hotspot data, perfect for users who need continuous but not necessarily high-speed connectivity. Although AT&T’s plans might not be loaded with streaming perks like T-Mobile's, they offer a well-rounded package that focuses on providing extensive data and hotspot capabilities.T-Mobile goes big on a cell phone user’s fundamental needs, namely speed and data. You also get some nice perks too.

3. High-Speed Data

For T-Mobile, the Essentials plan includes 50GB priority or high-speed data.The premium/high-speed data refers to the cap data that should give you maximum speed and performance without latency. 

AT&T and Verizon only offer high-speed data in mid-tier or top-tier unlimited data plans.In other words, you may start experiencing slow speeds should your network get congested after depleting the high-speed data allotted.

Here, T-Mobile wins.

4. Phone selections

When it comes to new devices, these carriers offer impressive selections as three of the largest providers in the United States. The majority of each list is the same, though the CDMA and GSM divide offers unique choices. Verizon still relies on the CDMA setup, while T-Mobile and AT&T rely on the GSM framework. That means that you can bring a more comprehensive selection of phones, especially those from OnePlus, to the Un-carrier.

While Verizon may not have the same OnePlus relationship, it does have a strong bond with Motorola. You can technically grab Motorola devices on T-Mobile, though they bear the Un-carrier’s Revvl badge.

Conclusion: What Unlimited Plan is Best?

There is no cut-and-dry answer in the Verizon vs. T-Mobile vs. AT&T debate, as there are many differences to consider.

Perks play a role in picking a good unlimited plan, even if those perks aren't numerous for plans this cheap. Still, T-Mobile Essentials includes hotspot data (albeit at slow speeds) and a year of Paramount Plus. It's also the only unlimited plan to promise that your data speeds won't be slowed, at least for the first 50GB of data use. Because T-Mobile has the top-ranked 5G network, it's also best for 5G coverage, even with its cheapest unlimited data plan.

On the other hand, the very first thing you should look at when comparing Verizon vs. AT&T is coverage. Find out which carrier has the best signal in the areas your frequent the most, and that is going the be the best choice for you.For solid 5G coverage in urban centers and a balance of cost and data, AT&T could be the preferable option. If your priority is widespread, consistent coverage with customizable plan features, Verizon may better suit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Welcome Unlimited a good Verizon plan?

Yes, it is the best unlimited Verizon plan for most people.

How much is Verizon Unlimited Welcome plan?

The cost for 1 Unlimited Welcome line with no discounts is $75 (plus taxes and fees).

How much is the activation fee for Verizon Welcome Unlimited?

The Welcome Unlimited plan costs $75/month per line for one line, and there's a $35 activation fee.

Does Verizon Welcome Unlimited include hotspot?

The Unlimited Welcome option lacks any hotspot data and is limited to Verizon's slower 5G network (what it calls "5G Nationwide").

Is Verizon Welcome Unlimited actually unlimited?

The Unlimited Welcome plan only offers access to standalone 5G, and does come with a data cap.

Is Verizon Welcome Unlimited slow?

During times of congestion, smartphone and mobile hotspot data (if purchased) on 5G or 4G LTE may be temporarily slower than other traffic. Speeds up to 25 Mbps when on 5G Ultra Wideband.

Does T-Mobile Essentials have unlimited hotspot?

T-Mobile has three postpaid plans, each with unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds. 

Does T-Mobile Essentials include international data?

Essentials plans include unlimited texting and calling at $.25 per minute in 215+ countries and destinations. To get high-speed data abroad, as well as unlimited calling in all 215+ countries and destinations, add an International Pass.

Is T-Mobile Essentials plan slow?

During congestion, Essentials customers may notice speeds lower than other customers and further reduction if using >50GB/mo. On-device usage is prioritized over tethering usage, which may result in higher speeds for data used on device. 

Is AT&T Unlimited Starter really unlimited?

Your data speeds may be throttled when AT&T's network is heavily congested.

How much does AT&T Unlimited Starter plan cost?

AT&T Unlimited Stater costs $65.99 a month for a single line of data,and you can add multiple lines.

Does AT&T Unlimited Starter plan slow down?

AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy. 

Does the AT&T Unlimited Starter plan have overage charges?

You'll never be charged overages on the Unlimited Starter plan.

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2024-02-21 01:12215