Holding the trophy as the largest communications company by revenue, AT&T offers more phones that work worldwide than any other carrier, which means they have the best selection in cell phones, making them one of the best cell phone carriers around. This provider offers 4G services, which is the fastest data service offered for a cell phone provider. In basic terms, the Internet speed on your cell phone will be the equivalent to that on your computer using Wi-Fi.
AT&T is also known for having “Rollover Minutes" which allows you to roll over any unused minutes, depending on the service plan you have, to the next billing cycle to prevent costly overages that can occur when you go over your minutes. The ability to call any other AT&T customer is free as well as cell phone users on other networks, provided you have the feature added to your account for an additional fee.
AT&T does offer refurbished phones at a discounted rate so consumers can take advantage of the latest devices at a discounted rate. They come with a 90-day warranty. Free phones are also available with a 2-year service agreement; and if signing a contract with AT&T isn’t something that you’d like to do, AT&T offers prepaid services where you pay for the cost of the phone and month to month for the service.
To initiate service with AT&T, there is a $36 activation fee, for individual plans, and $26 activation fee per each additional line activated on a family plan. If not satisfied with the service, you may return the device within 30 days and get a full refund of the activation fees and cost of the device.
Standard AT&T rate plans start at $39.99 for 450 minutes and go up to $69.99 for unlimited minutes. Senior rate plans are also available for $29.99.
When signing a 2-year agreement and purchasing a smart device (also known as a smartphone), there is an early termination fee of $325 minus $10 for each full month the phone was active, in order to cancel the service. If you have a standard phone, the early termination fee is $150 minus $4 for each full month the phone was active.
Although rollover minutes are available with AT&T, they expire after the 12th billing cycle so if you do not use them, you lose them. Although rate plans start at $39.99 data plans are required in order to use data devices such as the iPhone, BlackBerry or an Android device. Those plans start at $15 and go all the way up to $45 for unlimited data that does not include the $20 for unlimited text messaging, which means you're paying over $100 per month just to use your phone. There have been reports that the data service is not up to par but AT&T has been making strides to improve that. It could be why there are plans to buy out T-Mobile who have a great data network.
- Most options in cell phones to choose from.
- Rollover minutes for up to 1 year.
- There are complaints about spotty coverage with the data service.
- High early termination fees for smartphones.
- High data plan costs.
AT&T may be a good cell phone provider for you if you want the iPhone and more smartphone options to choose from.