Wisconsin's history with cheese dates back to the 1800s, when dairy farmers began making it from their excess milk as a means of preserving their top quality product. Cheese is still central to Wisconsin's economy, and the state produces--no joke--3 billion pounds of cheese a year.
Less impressive is the state's cell phone coverage; with a score of 59 out of 100, there's more holes in it than a block of swiss cheese. Sorry I couldn't resist.
Wisconsin's less-than-stellar coverall coverage can largely be attributed to the predominance of rural areas throughout the state. With major carriers rapidly expanding into less populated regions, though, expect coverage to make some strides in the years to come.
Read on to learn how to get the best cell phone coverage in Wisconsin.
Coverage in Wisconsin At-a-Glance
The still largely rural state of Wisconsin comes in with a coverage score of 79 out of 100. Here's a full list of coverage ratings by state.
What we love
- Verizon coverage is great statewide
- Coverage from AT&T isn't terrible
What could be improved
- Sprint coverage is not so hot
- Coverage less reliable in the northernmost areas of the Wisconsin
All four major carriers are well represented throughout the state, as are a multitude of smaller MVNOs that run on their networks.
Verizon has the widest network reach in Wisconsin, and takes the title for the best network in the state.
AT&T comes in at a very close second, and T-Mobile is in third. Sprint's coverage lags a bit, but customers can connect to other networks where Sprint has roaming agreements.
Best Coverage in Wisconsin by Network
|Network||Covered Area %|
Wisconsin has 894 zip codes, and the state's best network, AT&T, covers roughly 90% of them. Here are the network rankings by zip:
Coverage in Wisconsin by Network & Zip Code
The most important part of the process is to ensure that the areas that you are located in and travel to are well-covered.
You can check your own coverage by entering your address here here.
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:
Coverage Maps Wisconsin
The map tells it like it is: Verizon coverage blankets nearly the entire state of Wisconsin, while AT&T fares nearly as well. We break down the 3G and 4G network coverage below.
Coverage in Wisconsin (56,137 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
Wisconsin is broadly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. 3G is the network that some older phones run on, and the one newer 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network.
Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Wisconsin
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.
Click on the logos below to see which carriers run on which major networks:
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.
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.