5G still feels new and exciting, but there’s already a whole range of carriers on which you can use a 5G-ready device to enjoy lightning speeds. All of the big carriers have launched their 5G networks and are expanding them as quickly as possible to capture market share. On top of that, there are a number of smaller, prepaid carriers (known as MVNOs) that piggyback on the networks of those big players. That means that these MNVOs can also offer 5G connectivity — often at a more affordable price.
Before you jump on the bandwagon, bear in mind that 5G is still only available in 35 cities across the US. They range from LA and New York to Sioux Falls and Spokane. You can check the whole list of cities where 5G is available here.
Related: What is 5G?
We’ve focused mainly on unlimited data plans in this rundown. While these tend to be pricier with the bigger carriers, there are plenty of more budget-friendly options. And let’s face it, if you’re considering upgrading 5G, which can reach download speeds of over 1Gbps, you’re not going to want to be capped at 3GB by your plan.
Check out your options below.
Carriers offering 5G Plans
After you’ve decided on your carrier — or maybe before you decide — you should probably take a look at your best options for 5G devices. We’ve given a few of our thoughts as well as a handy FAQ at the very bottom of this page to help you out. Check them out here:
Editors note: We will keep this list of 5G plans updated as plans change and more launch.
Verizon 5G plans
Verizon has started rolling out its 5G Ultra Wideband mobile service, which it claims is 10 times faster than some other 5G networks. Verizon has four unlimited plans, and you get 5G access included on the top three of those: Play More, Do More, or Get More Unlimited. You’ll have to pay an extra $10 per month for 5G on all other Verizon plans.
The Play More and Do More unlimited plans are both $80 per month for one line of service and come with unlimited talk, text, data, and hotspot (15GB of which is 4G LTE). They both also include Apple Music and Disney Plus subscriptions. The difference is the Play More plan has 25GB of premium data — the allocation after which you may be slowed at times of network congestion — compared to 50GB on the Do More plan. In return though, the Do More plan only has SD-quality streaming, compared to HD-quality on the Play More plan.
The Get More unlimited plan is the premier service with all the bells and whistles: 75GB premium data, 30GB of high-speed hotspot, HD streaming, and all the extras. It’s $10 more at $90 per month.
There are several other plans available from Verizon, including a few prepaid plans that start at $40 per line for 5GB data, or $50 for 15GB. If you add the $10 you’d pay for 5G access, that’s $60 per month for 5G and a 15GB plan. Not bad if you intend to only use the ultra-fast internet access here and there.
Hit the button below to check out the Verizon 5G plans on offer.
AT&T 5G plans
New AT&T subscribers can choose from three unlimited plans, but only the top two of those — outlined below — come with 5G access. Both have unlimited talk, text, and data in the US, Canada, and Mexico. You also get free texting to over 120 countries, along with suspected spam and fraud alerts.
The Unlimited Extra plan costs $75 a month for one line, or you can get a four-line bundle for $160. These prices are with a $10 discount for using paperless billing and AutoPay. 50GB of data usage is considered premium data, meaning that after this allocation, 4G LTE speeds could be throttled at any time if the carrier is getting too much traffic. This plan included SD video streaming, plus it throws in 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data per month.
See also: The best AT&T plans
The most expensive of the AT&T Unlimited plans is Unlimited Elite. It costs $85 a month for one line or $200 for four lines. The Elite tier will throw in 30GB of free high-speed mobile hotspot data per month, and 100GB of premium data. Video streaming is boosted to HD. Finally, the Elite plan grants users access to HBO and HBO Max.
Find out more about AT&T 5G plans via the button below
T-Mobile 5G plans
T-Mobile claims to have more 5G coverage than AT&T and Verizon combined, with stronger signals that cover thousands of miles rather than just city blocks. The recent merger with Sprint has only accelerated its growth, and there are all types of bullish stats on the website about how much bigger and faster the network will become in the coming years.
If T-Mobile wasn’t already sounding like your best bet for a 5G plan, it gets sweeter — 5G access is included free of charge on every T-Mobile plan.
There are a few prepaid plans available from T-Mobile, including the Connect plan which starts from as little as $15 per month. You’ll struggle to find a cheaper plan which offers 5G capability, but you’d burn through the 2GB of data pretty quickly, so let’s focus on the unlimited data plans. The one prepaid plan which offers unlimited data is $50 per month (not including taxes and fees). As unlimited data plans go it’s pretty bare-bones — 3G hotspot is a good example of this — but you’ll get a 5G unlimited data plan that may only get slowed after using 50GB of data per billing cycle.
See also: The best T-Mobile plans
In terms of postpaid plans, you’ve got a range of unlimited data options depending on your needs. The headline plans are the Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus plans. They’re $60, $70, and $85 respectively for one line, though it’s worth noting that the Magenta and Magenta Plus plans included taxes and fees. You can see our detailed analysis of each plan on our T-Mobile plans page, but given that you get unlimited talk, text, and data on all three, the price difference just accounts for the extra features you’d expect. For example, the Magenta Plan offers 3GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot before dropping to 3G and has SD video streaming. The Magenta Plus plan bumps it to 20GB of 4G LTE hotspot and HD streaming.
Hit the button below to get more details about the T-Mobile plans, all of which are 5G ready.
US Cellular 5G plans
US Cellular is often left far behind the big three US carriers, but it actually powers the fourth-largest US network with nearly five million subscribers. It doesn’t boast the largest 5G network around — access is only available in parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. That being said, US Cellular is still a good way to go if you’re in one of those select locations. It typically offers more affordable rates than the larger carriers, and you can get a number of recent phones on the cheap.
While it’s still a bit tricky to figure out which US Cellular plans actually support 5G, the carrier has confirmed that it will be rolling 5G to new markets over a multi-year period. If you want to get signed up ahead of the full rollout, US Cellular offers three main postpaid plans — Basic, Everyday, and Even Better.
See also: The best US Cellular deals
The Basic plan starts at $55 per month for a single line, though the price drops with each line you add. It’s a simple plan, with unlimited talk, text, and data and not much else. You can stream in standard definition, but there’s no hotspot access or priority data available.
If you’d rather have the full power of US Cellular behind you, either the Everyday plan or the Even Better plan is better. The Everyday option starts at $65 per month and Even Better will run you $75, but both include hotspot, HD or Full HD streaming respectively and even a payback perk. As long as you can stay below 3GB per month, US Cellular will kick $5 or $10 back to you, depending on your plan.
Check out the button below for some US Cellular 5G information:
MVNOs usually offer simpler and more affordable plans without the long contracts of the big four carriers, but 5G access is still available if you know where to look. Here’s a quick summary of some MVNOs that offer 5G access.
Metro by T-Mobile
Being on the T-Mobile network, all Metro plans have access to 5G. Plans start from $40 per month, and the cheapest unlimited data plan is $50 per month. On that plan as well as the $60 unlimited plan, you get 100GB of cloud storage with Google One. The $60 plan even includes an Amazon Prime membership.
Also on the T-Mobile network, Google’s Fi plans offer 5G coverage. Where these plans are a bit pricer than Metro, they’re also more flexible. One user can get a plan for as little as $20 per month, though you pay $10 per GB of data. The unlimited plan is $70 per month, but you can make big savings when you add more than one line. For example, it’s $150 per month for three unlimited lines.
US Mobile is on the verge of introducing its 5G capability, and you can sign up for early access now. The plans start at $65 per month for one line, but there’s an introductory offer of $100 for the first three months.
All Mint Mobile plans have access to the T-Mobile 5G network, and they couldn’t be simpler. You can choose from 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB of data, and the introductory three-month plans start from just $15. While being extremely affordable, there are no unlimited data plans, so you’d want to use your 5G capability sparingly.
We haven’t quite reached the point where all new phones are 5G-ready, though it seems like more and more launches are climbing on board. However, it does mean that you’ll still have to remain vigilant when you’re shopping for your next device. If you don’t see a 5G indicator in the name, you may have to look elsewhere for a capable device. You can also check out the best 5G devices right here.
If you’d rather save a bit of time, here are the 5G devices supported by the four main carriers. Most MVNOs should have at least some overlap as they run on the same networks.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy A71, Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra
- Motorola Edge Plus, Moto z4
- OnePlus 8 UW
- LG V60
See also: The best Verizon phones
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy A71, Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- LG Velvet, LG V60
See also: The best AT&T phones
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A51, Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- OnePlus 8
- LG V60 (and optional Dual-Screen)
See also: The best T-Mobile phones
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy A71, Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra
- LG V60
See also: The best US Cellular phones