Few wireless carriers have had as big an impact as T-Mobile has enjoyed in recent years. The Uncarrier can claim credit for helping do away with two-year contracts, popularizing unlimited data plans and pushing other customer-friendly innovations that its competitors often match. And with T-Mobile continuing to make waves into 2020, it's no wonder T-Mobile has earned the first-ever Tom's Guide Award for best wireless carrier.
T-Mobile wasn't the first to turn on 5G service, but it did take the lead in bringing 5G coverage to more people, launching nationwide coverage in December 2019 that covers more than 5,000 cities.
- See all the Tom's Guide Awards 2020 winners
While speeds so far have only been slightly faster than T-Mobile's LTE network, that figures to change as T-Mobile incorporates Sprint's mid-band spectrum into its own low-band 5G network. So far, Philadelphia and New York City have seen their 5G upload and download speeds increase, as T-Mobile has built out its 5G network in those two cities.
T-Mobile's accomplishments don't stop with 5G. The newly launched T-Mobile connect plan offers one of the best prepaid phone plans out there, giving you 2GB of data (both LTE and 5G) for $15 a month. And its T-Mobile Tuesdays giveaways to subscribers continue to set the standard for rewards programs with recent bonuses include free trials of Tidal Premium and Google Stadia Pro.
Other wireless carriers are making their own mark. Visible lets you enjoy Verizon's top-performing network, with unlimited data available for $40 a month — a $30 discount from Verizon's cheapest unlimited plan. And if you add more lines, Visible becomes even more appealing, with four lines of unlimited data costing just $100.
We also like Mint Mobile's low monthly rates (provided you opt for an annual contract instead of month-to-month service) and Verizon's full package of extensive coverage, fast 5G (where available) and solid customer service.
It's important that these carriers keep pushing themselves, especially with T-Mobile's finally completed acquisition of Sprint raising the stakes in the wireless space. Although other carriers are nipping at its heels, T-Mobile is the carrier to beat.
- More: Get full protection with the best mobile VPN apps