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Best Cell Phone Carriers & Coverage In Austin

"Verla Polanco" (2019-09-25)

Best Cell Phone Carriers & Coverage In Austin
Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin boasts somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 music venues and 1,900 performing artists. Not only is it home to the South by Southwest mega-fest, but also Austin City Limits Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Levitation Music Festival and a host of others.

Yet music isn’t the only thing that Austin is known for. It’s also a major tech hub—Dell is the city’s third-largest employer, and Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel and Oracle all have offices in the area. There’s been a well-documented trend of Bay Area companies and residents relocating to Austin in recent years, attracted by the city’s relative affordability and livability.

With such a tech savvy, cultured populace, you’d expect Austin to have decent cell coverage, as its smartphone-wielding residents would seem to demand it. This is indeed the case, for the most part; all four carriers provide Austinites with respectable network coverage, although each of them do certain things better than others. Read on to learn more about the best cell phone plans in Austin.

Coverage in Austin At-a-Glance
Austin comes in with an stellar coverage score of 99 out of 100. Here's a full list of coverage ratings by U.S. city.
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What we love
All four carriers offer great coverage
Competitive market with lots of choice
4G LTE widely available
What could be improved
Coverage less reliable the further you travel from the city
Coverage can be tricky in crowded areas, at crowded events.
Carrier Network Coverage in Austin
While no carrier's perfect, all four of the major networks perform well throughout Austin. This means you can join any of the four majors to get great coverage--or the multitude of smaller carriers that run on their networks.

AT&T and T-Mobile's networks blanket the city of Austin, while Verizon and Sprint are only a hair off.
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Geographic Area Covered in Austin Texas per mi2
Network Percentage Geographic Area Covered
AT&T 100.00% 538.49
Verizon 99.99% 538.48
T-Mobile 100.00% 538.49
Sprint 99.43% 535.42
Coverage data generated August 2019 from carrier maps
Network Coverage Maps for Austin
The Austin metropolitan region encompasses 538.48 square miles, and the most robust local carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile, cover every bit of it:
Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Austin
When choosing a cell phone providers, there's no need to limit yourself to the big companies. There are dozens of smaller carriers that run on the major networks, but charge a fraction of the price for service. Known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs for short), these carriers purchase network service from the major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to consumers.

Click on the logos below to see which MVNOs run on which major networks:
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Getting the Best Plan & Coverage
WhistleOut's industry-leading coverage check feature supercharges an already robust comparison engine by allowing you to instantly see what coverage is like at your location. Just punch in your address, and we'll do the rest.

In addition to showing you a map of your area with the coverage from all four major carriers, we filter through the available cell phone plans and present only those from carriers who provide good reception to you.

Popular Cell Phone Carriers in Austin
Here's the full list of wireless carriers (big and small) in Austin, and the network that each belongs to. Note that the smaller carriers—Cricket, Metro, Boost, etc.—utilize the networks of the major carriers.
One More Thing: Using Public WiFi in Austin
Ranked as one of the most mobile-friendly cities in the U.S., Austin offers free WiFi in a variety of public spaces, including libraries, museums, and parks. Check out some of the places offering free WiFi below. This is handy when you want to save your cellular data.
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Austin Spots with Public WiFi
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin Public Libraries
Austin History Center
Austin Museum of Art
Zilker Park
Wooldridge Square
Austin Park Brush Square
Texas State Law Library
Waller Creek Center
One Texas Center
State of Texas Capitol Visitors Center
YMCA of Austin
Barton Creek Square
Lakeline Mall
The Shops at Arbor Walk
North Cross Mall
Dobie Mall
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