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Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon: Which carrier is worth your business?

Spectrum Mobile relies on Verizon for service, but can it leap past its host network? Let's find out.
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Published onDecember 10, 2023

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 7

Xfinity Mobile isn’t the only internet provider set up with Verizon’s mobile network — Spectrum Mobile is right behind it on Big Red’s coverage. Spectrum Mobile has a few hurdles before you can sign up, but it presents some solid value. Is Spectrum’s value enough to rival Verizon, its host operator? We’ll break down both carriers and help you decide who wins the battle of Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon.

While the coverage should be comparable, we’re going to dig into pricing, promotions, and more before we declare a winner. MVNOs have come a long way in the last few years but competing with Verizon is a monumental feat. Ready to find out how Spectrum stacks up? Let’s get started.

Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Pricing

spectrum logo
Spectrum

Verizon is an expensive carrier, so Spectrum should get the edge in this category, right? One of the hurdles we mentioned before is that you must first be a Spectrum Internet customer. That means you’re looking at the cost of at least $50 per month. Check out the table below for a plan comparison before we dig deeper:

PlanCost
Spectrum Mobile By the Gig
$14 per GB
Spectrum Mobile Unlimited
$30 per line
Spectrum Mobile Unlimited Plus
$40 per line
Verizon myPlan Unlimited Welcome
$60 for one line
$50 for two lines
$35 for three lines
$25 for four lines
Verizon myPlan Unlimited Plus
$65 for one line
$55 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$30 for four lines
myPlan Unlimited Ultimate
$75 for one line
$65 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$40 for four lines

Spectrum Mobile

We won’t factor in the price of an internet plan each time, but you should probably know what you’re working with. Here are the plans you can choose if you’re switching to Spectrum:

  • Internet — $49.99 per month, Up to 300Mbps
  • Internet Ultra — $69.99 per month, Up to 500Mbps
  • Internet Gig — $89.99 per month, Up to 1Gbps

The internet plans may tank your overall costs, but at least Spectrum’s mobile plans try to keep the cost manageable. It offers just two plans — By the Gig coverage for $14 per GB of data or unlimited service starting at $30 per line with two or more lines. If you opt for By the Gig coverage, you’ll get talk and text included at no extra charge. You’ll only pay by the full gigabyte, so if you use 2.3GB, then you may as well use the other 0.7GB while you’re at it. Spectrum Mobile also offers a mix and match option to have some lines on unlimited and some lines on the By the Gig service.

Spectrum Mobile now offers an Unlimited Plus plan for an extra $10 per month with two or more lines if you want a little more to work with. It kicks your streaming up to HD quality, and you’ve got 30GB of premium data. Otherwise, a single line of Unlimited costs $45, and Unlimited Plus will run you $55.

Spectrum recently introduced a new option for coverage, which it’s calling Spectrum One. The all-in-one service ties your home internet, wi-fi, and mobile service under one price and has the potential to save you some money. You’ll start with the same Internet, Internet Ultra plans, and get a modem and a single line of unlimited service at no extra cost.

Verizon

On Verizon, you’ll know what you pay ahead of time. There’s no extra plan to add, and some of Verizon’s plans are more affordable than Spectrum once you pass three lines. Verizon’s pricing is a bit more expensive initially, but it can actually become much more affordable when you have a large family. Also if you don’t need home internet, this is another way to save money. Not to mention Verizon subscribers typically have discounted rates for Verizon’s internet options as well.

Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Coverage

spectrum mobile map
Spectrum Mobile

Spectrum Mobile and Verizon offer similar services thanks to their shared 4G LTE network, but they’re not identical. Instead, Spectrum employs a network of nearly 500,000 data hotspots on top of its mobile service to help you stay on wi-fi instead of 4G LTE. It should help keep your data usage in check and, in turn, save you a bit of money on your By the Gig plan.

You can also check your local coverage on the map above or by clicking here. The 5G coverage is limited to a select few cities, so you’ll have to zoom in as far as you can.

Verizon has a new nationwide map for its service, and you already know that it’s fast. Big Red covers nearly 70% of the United States with its 4G LTE network, and you should have no connection problems in populated areas.

You’ll find that Verizon’s mmWave 5G setup is quite limited, but Nationwide 5G has made things much easier for most users. It’s not as fast as mmWave, but it beats LTE in most cases. Check out the nationwide coverage right here.

Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Perks and promotions

Frozen 2 on Disney Plus app 1

Reasonable prices and great coverage are just part of the battle — the perfect plan needs a few perks sprinkled on top. Saving money is important too, so let’s see how Spectrum Mobile compares.

Over on Spectrum Mobile, you won’t find any streaming perks on the menu. This is common among MVNOs, though, as the low cost often requires some level of sacrifice. You might be able to call the mix-and-match option a perk, but that’s as good as it gets. Spectrum doesn’t make up any ground with phone discounts either — its best offers include $600 off the Galaxy S23 Plus or the Pixel 6a for just $5.55 per month.

Verizon also doesn’t include any perks, but it does give you the option to add perks for $10 each. Here’s the full list of perks you can choose from:

  • Disney Bundle (Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN Plus)
  • 2TB Cloud Storage
  • 100GB Mobile hotspot
  • Walmart+ Membership
  • Apple One
  • Apple Music Family
  • Smartwatch Data
  • 3 TravelPass Days

Verizon gets to swing its weight around once again regarding promotions. You can save on most of its devices and possibly get one free when switching from another carrier.

Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Phone selections

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 7 Pro camera
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As a leading carrier in the United States, Verizon has an extensive list of high-end devices. From Apple to Samsung, Verizon pretty much supports any CDMA phone you can name. You can always keep your phone if you want — you’ll have to make sure that it plays nicely with Verizon’s network. Of course, you’ll have to look for Verizon’s UW tag if you want to tap into the mmWave 5G network, though the Nationwide 5G launch has opened up your options a bit.

Over on Spectrum Mobile, you’ll be happy to know that the MNVO offers just as many flagships as Verizon. You can grab the iPhone 14 family, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 family, and even a few budget-friendly Motorola phones. Spectrum also carries most of the Galaxy A line at pocket-friendly prices if you’re set on Samsung’s ecosystem. You can also bring your device, and Spectrum will toss in a free SIM card when you do.

Which carrier is right for you?

Finally, the question on everyone’s minds — who should you choose for your next mobile carrier? The answer isn’t quite so simple, and it partially depends on your internet provider. If you’re a Spectrum subscriber, it makes sense to join Spectrum Mobile since it’s a requirement. Unfortunately, you’ll pay quite a bit extra if you have to switch to Spectrum on top of your mobile bill because internet plans start at around $50. High-end gigabit speeds can easily double that cost, so the low-cost options aren’t really what they seem.

If you can afford expensive plans and want a rich mix of perks, Verizon makes more sense. It offers a better variety of phones and unlimited plans, and you won’t be de-prioritized when you use mountains of data.

Maybe you’ve gone through all of these prices, plans, and perks and decided that neither Verizon nor Spectrum Mobile is suitable for you.  For more carrier options, check out our guides for AT&TT-Mobile, and Google Fi Wireless.

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