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 recommended services that I expect to have higher prioritization during periods of congestion.
Top-tier service quality
Verizon’s postpaid plans are the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to wireless service. While the plans tend to be expensive, subscribers generally have high priority access to 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 always has reduced priority.
Low-cost, high-priority service
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.
Great prices for low data use
Google Fi is well-priced for subscribers that don’t use much data, but the pricing is less competitive for moderate and heavy data use.