My standard list of recommended wireless providers includes carriers that have low-priority data access when networks are congested. While congestion is generally rare, some people may encounter it regularly or find it especially frustrating. On this page, I list services I recommend that I expect to have higher prioritization during periods of congestion. Carriers on this page also tend to offer more perks like device discounts and domestic roaming capabilities.
Verizon’s postpaid plans are the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to wireless service. These plans typically give subscribers high priority on the nation’s most extensive network along with access to service from Verizon’s domestic roaming partners.
Note: Verizon’s postpaid unlimited plans generally have a threshold level of data use each month. After the threshold is reached, data access may be deprioritized. With Verizon’s Start Unlimited plan, there is no threshold—data access has reduced priority from the start.
T-Mobile’s prepaid plans are well-priced. As of September 2019, a single line with the Simply Prepaid plan is $40 per month and includes unlimited talk, unlimited texting, and up to 10GB of data. An unlimited data plan is available for $50 per month. Both plans become cheaper when additional lines are added in a family plan. Note that hotspot/tethering use and use on the unlimited plan beyond 50GB per month may have lower priority than regular, on-device use.