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Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T: Which Carrier Is Best for the Individual?

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With all the new phones and devices being given and received around the holiday season it might be time to look for a new mobile carrier.

When choosing among Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile, however, it can sometimes be a little difficult to figure out the differences.

A few weeks ago we compared the plans of the big four carriers for families. Many, however, will only be shopping for themselves! Here is a comparison of the big four for someone who only needs to worry about one line. For the purpose of this article, we will say that the user needs at least 2 GB of data and wants a new 16-GB iPhone 6.

Verizon

Verizon has the largest network of the big four, but is largely considered to be the most expensive carrier. Unfortunately for many there is no choice but to go with Verizon because of the fact that it is the only carrier available in many rural areas.

It's important to note the fact that Verizon is a CDMA network, meaning that devices bought through Verizon likely will not be usable on other networks, especially in other countries.

Normally on Verizon a single line with 2 GB of data would be $75. However, the company's Edge program, which allows users to pay off their device over two years, brings the monthly price down to $60. Add $27.08 per month for the iPhone 6, and we have a total of $87.08.

AT&T

AT&T is the second-largest mobile network in the U.S. and is also the second most expensive. AT&T is also a GSM network, meaning that unlocked AT&T devices will be usable on other networks around the world.

AT&T currently offers the iPhone 6 to customers for $21.67 per month, with it costing $65 for its Mobile Share plan with 3 GB of data. The total is $86.67. It's important to note the extra 1 GB of data here, especially since the plan is cheaper than Verizon's offering.

Sprint

Sprint has been suffering lately, losing millions of customers to the likes of T-Mobile. Despite this, the company certainly has some great offerings, especially when compared with Verizon and AT&T.

Currently, Sprint is offering unlimited talk, text and data for $50. With the iPhone 6, the monthly total is $77.06. A lot of money, to be sure, but over $10 cheaper than Verizon and AT&T.

T-Mobile

Some suggest that T-Mobile is the carrier of the future. It has been making announcement after announcement of ground-breaking new plans. The company recently announced that it would allow users to have their unused data roll over to the next month.

T-Mobile is currently offering its Simple Starter Plan, which gives users up to 2 GB of data with unlimited talk and text for $45. With the iPhone 6, the total comes to $72.08, even cheaper than Sprint.

Conclusions

T-Mobile is the cheapest in this scenario, but considering the fact that Sprint's offering allows for unlimited data, Sprint may just be the company to beat this holiday season. However, T-Mobile also offers a number of other great plans with benefits like the ability to roll over data and stream unlimited music without it counting toward data. One thing is for certain -- if you have the choice, don't go with Verizon or AT&T unless the extra coverage is worth the extra dough.

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