Arizona didn't join the Union until 1912, making it the youngest of the 48 contiguous states. In that sense, and many others, it kind of feels like the country's kid brother.
Arizonans are noted for their scrappiness--see John McCain--as well as their love of the outdoors. You'll find residents going for runs and bike rides in temperatures that people from other states wouldn't dream of going outside in.
While it contains two major metropolitan areas in Tucson and Phoenix and a smaller one in Flagstaff, what's amazing about Arizona is how much of it is still rural. In that sense, it's perhaps not shocking that the coverage scores from the four major carriers are a little less than impressive.
Read on to find out where you'll find the best cell phone coverage in Arizona, and who supplies it.
Coverage in Arizona At-a-Glance
Coverage in busy areas of Arizona is great, less so in rural ones. Overall it's o.k. though, earning a score of 63 out of 100.
What we love
- Coverage from Verizon also very strong
- Coverage from AT&T is excellent throughout the state
What could be improved
- T-Mobile coverage not so hot
- Coverage always a bit tricky in deep valleys or remote natural areas
All four major carriers are well represented throughout the state, as are a multitude of smaller MVNOs that run on their networks. Verizon and At&T generally provide the best coverage in Arizona, not surprising since these carriers are great in rural regions, which the state is largely comprised of. Sprint and T-Mobile's networks tend to provide excellent coverage to urban areas.
Coverage by Network in Arizona
Numbers on a page are one thing, but the coverage maps tell the full story. Fortunately, you don't have to go to all of the carriers' websites to get this information--you can see what the coverage is like from the four majors below:
The maps confirm that Verizon provides the most robust coverage in Arizona, followed by AT&T. T-Mobile has pretty decent coverage, while Sprint lags significantly behind.
Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Arizona
Did you know that there are dozens of small carriers that run on the major networks, but charge a fraction of the price for service? These companies are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, MVNOs for short. MVNOs purchase network service from the major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to consumers.
If you're interested in Verizon's coverage, for example, but are looking for a better deal, Straight Talk Wireless, Twigby and Red Pocket are just a few of the smaller providers you'll want to check out.
Getting the Best Plan & Coverage
WhistleOut's new coverage check feature supercharges an already robust comparison engine by allowing you to instantly see what coverage is like at your location. All you have to do is punch in your address and we do the rest. This feature is the first of its kind, and empowers consumers to make better decisions when it comes to wireless. If you need help figuring out how to use it, the GIF below should help:
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.