The 2021 best cell phone plans in Boston by category:
- The fastest wireless carrier in Boston: AT&T, average speeds reported over 100 Mbps
- The widest available wireless carrier in Boston: TIE (Verizon Wireless, AT&T)
- The largest 5G network available in Boston: T-Mobile (35% coverage)
- The most affordable wireless carrier in Boston: Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile – plans starting at $10-20 per month
Whether you live in Boston and you’re shopping for a new cell phone carrier, or if you’re planning on moving to the city sometime soon, you’ll be in good hands with most major carriers and even a lot of the smaller or budget offerings. Boston, MA and the surrounding area are booming with jobs growth across a variety of sectors, and with that comes the benefit of major telcos wanting to get a slice of the pie. The big three carriers are all active in Boston (although 5G is still a little behind other major metros), and smaller carriers are able to compete in the market because of how populated the area is.
Back on the 5G thing though, and we’ll get into this more below, it’s weird that a city like this wasn’t picked earlier for 5G rollout. When we looked into 4G and LTE speeds across the city, however, it was clear that speeds on those networks were plenty fast, meaning it’s possible that Boston simply didn’t need the immedate upgrade. Even still, we’d be willing to bet that Boston will see some major expansions of 5G coverage in the early 2020s.
Below you can find the best mobile carriers available to Boston consumers looking to compare plans as reviewed by the GammaWire team:
Top Mobile Wireless Plans in Boston
Which Mobile Provider Has the Best Cell Coverage in Boston?
It’s super close between AT&T and Verizon when it comes to having almost total coverage of the Boston area. Both networks have average download speeds over 10 Mbps across 95%+ of their networks, meaning no matter where you are, you won’t have any trouble streaming HD video, making Facetime calls, downloading and updating apps, and more.
T-Mobile isn’t far behind, with solid coverage across 90% of the city, according to PCMag.
All three carriers will be fine for the average user across the Greater Boston area though, so if you catch a great deal on a plan you like, you’ll be safe no matter who you choose.
Fastest Mobile Carriers in Boston (5G, 4G, LTE)
As mentioned above, Boston doesn’t have the most 5G coverage for a major city. While all major carriers have plans to expand 5G in the 2020s, Boston is already behind in comparison with other major metros. T-Mobile currently leads the way, with just over 30% of the area coated in 5G network.
AT&T also has somewhere in the mid-20% of the city covered in 5G network speeds as well.
But again, we expect full and rapid deployment of 5G across the three major carriers in the coming years.
Cheap & Discount Cell Phone Plans in Boston, MA
The best part about living in a big city is that it’s relatively easy to find competition when it comes to cheap and discount cell plans. Because there are enough people here for multiple carriers to compete, it means that outside of the big three carriers, consumers in Boston will have plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right plan for them. Companies like Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile, and Cricket Wireless can all play ball against T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T without a customer of their services noticing any decline in quality.
As it stands right now, the best rate you can find in Boston is most likely through either Boost Mobile or Mint Mobile, both with plans that start in the $10-$15 range per month.
One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a budget cell phone carrier is that while their coverage might be top-tier in a major metro, once you’re outside of the city you might see coverage drop a bit. It’s important to make sure you ask about their coverage areas before signing any sort of long-term deal. If you plan on staying put in Boston for a while, then you’ll probably be fine, but if you move around a lot, make sure to check availability and coverage where you travel most commonly.
Boston, MA Zip Codes with the Best Cellular Coverage
While the above zip codes are currently some of the best covered by most major cell phone carriers and mobile networks, don’t fret if you don’t see your zip code on the list. Most of the Greater Boston area has 95%+ coverage from major carriers and 80%+ coverage by even the smallest cell carriers in the area.