The best cell phone plans in Chicago by category:
- The fastest wireless carrier in Chicago: Verizon Wireless, average speeds reported over 1GB in some areas, but averaging just north of 150 Mbps.
- The widest available wireless carrier in Chicago: TIE – Verizon and T-Mobile both offer almost complete coverage and AT&T is very close behind.
- The largest 5G network available in Chicago: T-Mobile (99% coverage)
- The most affordable wireless carrier in Chicago: Cricket Wireless, Mint Mobile or Boost Mobile – plans starting at $10 per month
One of the countries busiest cities, Chicago Illinois has a little bit of something for everyone. A great jobs market, culture, tourist attractions, tons of history and an ever-changing landscape, it’s not hard to understand why Chicago keeps as many people happily living there as they do.
For those looking to find the mobile carrier in Chicago, you’re in luck because competition among the providers is fierce. The Big Three all compete heavily here, with some of the fastest available networks in the country and reliable coverage. And if you’re looking for a cheaper option when it comes to finding a wireless provider, Chicago has plenty of budget and startup carriers available with reliable service. Looking for broadband internet in Chicago? We’ve got a guide for that too.
Below you can find the best mobile carriers available to Chicago consumers looking to compare plans as reviewed by the GammaWire team:
Top Mobile Wireless Plans in Chicago
Which Mobile Provider Has the Best Cell Coverage in Chicago?
Honestly, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong when it comes to selecting a mobile provider in Chicago. Because of how much of a business hub Chicago is, with technology-friendly culture, the big carriers all compete heavily here to provide not only ridiculous speeds but wide coverage.
Out of most cities in the United States, Chicago also has a near limitless number of carriers available to match any specific need or budget.
Overall, Verizon and T-Mobile have slight advantages but for two separate reasons. T-Mobile boasts by far the largest 5G network in Chicago, with nearly the entire city covered in its new 5G network. Verizon on the otherhand simply just offers fast speeds on their LTE, with some customers seeing average speeds north of 150Mbps (some even seeing gigabyte speeds on their LTE).
Fastest Mobile Carriers in Chicago (5G, 4G, LTE)
This is a tight contest, and has two answers.
First, T-Mobile has the widest 5G net cast across the city, with nearly the entire city being able to access their 5G network. Speeds on this network are insane, and will definitely impress customers trying a 5G network for the first time.
Second, Verizon simply has blazing fast speeds in Chicago on their normal LTE networks.
Going with either one of these carriers is a great idea.
Cheap & Discount Cell Phone Plans in Chicago, IL
The best part about picking a cell phone plan in a major metro like Chicago is that competition is literally endless. Between the major carriers compared above and all of the upstart and budget mobile carriers offering their services, it’s impossible not to find a plan that fits your needs.
One of the best budget options in Chicago is going to be Mint Mobile. The upstart offers plans staring between $15-20 a month and their network is rapidly expanding nationally. Meaning if you spent a lot of time out of Chicago as well, they’re a good hoice.
Another good option is going to be Cricket Wireless. Once an upstart turned more national brand, Cricket prides itself on great service at a budget price (normally below $30 a month).
The one thing to always be careful of though is if you’re the type of person that DOES travel a lot, make sure that the provider you choose is available in the locations you most often stay. While this is rarely an issue for major carriers, some of the newer or more discount-focused carriers might not have the same availability around the US.
Chicago, IL Zip Codes with the Best Cellular Coverage
Don’t see your zip code on the above list? Never fret. Chicago has almost ubiquitous cell network coverage from most major carriers (and most discount carriers).