The best cell phone plans in San Francisco by category:
- The fastest wireless carrier in San Francisco: Verizon Wireless, average speeds reported over 175 Mbps
- The widest available wireless carrier in San Francisco: TIE Verizon & AT&T
- The largest 5G network available in San Francisco: T-Mobile with over 70% coverage
- The most affordable wireless carriers in San Francisco: Mint Mobile, Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile – plans starting at $10 per month
While San Francisco has its heart, the of all US cities, no location in the country has seen as much change over the past twenty years as the bay area. San Francisco started reshaping itself in the 70s and 80s from artsy coastal gem city to technology hub. As the companies came, so did the money, with venture capital and startups becoming one of the most prominent forces in the city’s unimageable growth. While the city still remains a tourist destination for many travelers, it’s a city that continues to change, and maybe that’s part of the allure.
Because of the rapid business growth, most major cell phone companies offer competitive wireless plans across the city and in the entire county. It’s hard to find a pocket in the city where any of the major wireless carriers don’t offer peak performance, and because of the population of the city itself, tons of startup competition and budget cell phone plans remain available from any number of providers.
Below you can find the best mobile carriers available to San Francisco consumers looking to compare plans as reviewed by the GammaWire team:
Top Mobile Wireless Plans in San Francisco
Which Mobile Provider Has the Best Cell Coverage in San Francisco?
If you’re here looking for a simple answer to the above question, we’d probably point you in the direction of Verizon Wireless. They’re overall the best cell phone plan provider in San Francisco, so if you’re looking for a safe, reliable choice with ridiculous speeds, Verizon will be great. The entire city has access to 10 Mbps+ speeds, and some customers will even see speeds north of 1 GB on the network under ideal conditions.
As far as competition goes, AT&T isn’t terribly far behind, with both reliable coverage and tons of plans that offer good to great speeds. The other advantage with AT&T is their wider available 5G network. Verizon is actually behind the other Big Three carriers in that regard, so if 5G is important to you, consider AT&T or T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is probably in third place in San Francisco, but it’s not like they’re way behind. As one major benefit they also offer the best 5G network as it stands right now, and seem to be taking their rollout the most serious.
Fastest Mobile Carriers in San Francisco (5G, 4G, LTE)
For absolute top end speed when it comes to your cell phone plan, Verizon overall has the fastest reported network. Customers can see broadband internet-like speeds on their mobile phones under ideal conditions with Verizon in San Francisco.
BUT… if you’re thinking 5G is the future, then T-Mobile currently has the broadest rollout across San Francisco, with over two-thirds of the city covered in their rapidly expanding 5G network.
AT&T also has a much wider 5G network than Verizon, but is a little behind T-Mobile. As it stands right now, AT&T has about half the city covered by their 5G towers.
Cheap & Discount Cell Phone Plans in San Francisco, CA
Of all the cheap cell phone plans available in San Francisco, we’d probably start looking at them in the following order:
- Mint Mobile – plans starting at $15 a month – they’re a cell phone plan startup with lots of big plans to roll out nationwide to compete with the big three carriers.
- Boost Mobile – probably the best prepaid plans, and arguably the best deal on phones as it stands right now.
- Cricket Wireless – they’ve been around a bit so they’re probably here to stay. They’ve got major backing so you don’t have to worry about them disappearing overnight either.
San Francisco, CA Zip Codes with the Best Cellular Coverage
Thanks in part to a booming population and massive technological advancements in San Francisco, it’d be hard to find a zip code in SF with bad cell coverage. Most areas with any population density will have you perfectly well covered, even if you don’t see your zip code on the above list.