Carrier Spouse and I use different cell phone carriers. Anyone else do this?

dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
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I recently switched to T-Mobile because I've become quite a data hog and find their free music streaming and video very helpful for me -- and for the kids to tether their iPads. However, T-Mobile service, especially indoors, isn't as strong as AT&T. My wife cares more about coverage and decided to stick with ATT. It would save about $20 a month to have us both on the same carrier but I have a feeling it will be nice to have "two chances" to get decent service in a particular area. I just wondered if anyone else has two different carriers within their family for the same or different reasons?
 

btbam91

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
148
110
Nope. My GF is on my ATT plan because I get a 25% discount through work. I pay her bill anyways.
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
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2,536
I recently switched to T-Mobile because I've become quite a data hog and find their free music streaming and video very helpful for me -- and for the kids to tether their iPads. However, T-Mobile service, especially indoors, isn't as strong as AT&T. My wife cares more about coverage and decided to stick with ATT. It would save about $20 a month to have us both on the same carrier but I have a feeling it will be nice to have "two chances" to get decent service in a particular area. I just wondered if anyone else has two different carriers within their family for the same or different reasons?

I'm not sure what you mean by "two chances to get decent service".

The only rationale why a married couple would have disparate carriers would be because of legacy plans such as udp or price or because one of the two people works in a zone where a particular carrier is superior.
 
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Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
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New Orleans
I'm not sure what you mean by "two chances to get decent service".
He means there might be some places with good T-Mobile service but not AT&T, and other places with good AT&T service but not T-Mobile, so having both gives them a better chance of one of them having service. If they were on the same network, the places where the other carrier has better service wouldn't benefit either of them.

To answer OP's question, I'm not married, but I myself have a phone with Verizon, a backup with RingPlus (Sprint), and an iPad with AT&T, so I never have to worry about being without service.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,913
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Boston, MA
We used to. Wife used to be with Verizon then I was with att. She had Verizon through work concessions and it was much cheaper for a while. She even used to get a new phone free (to her) every year (iPhone was excluded but she could sell it or otherwise do what she wished). That changed and eventually a family plan was the better deal so we both moved to ATT. We are now on T-Mobile for the same basic reasons you are. She has complained about a dropped call here and there on her drive home from work, but we are saving about $80 a month (part of that is that buying/leasing devices is cheaper through promos), we have more data, and of course streaming videos. My son used 18gb this last month in YouTube steaming. I used 16 between Netflix and music. For us, right now, T-Mobile is the answer. The way I see it, for almost $1000 a year, I'd have to have much greater problems than an occasional dropped call. Of course, I do see 4g much more often than I did with att where I only really saw LTE anywhere I went, but aside from that, I'd hardly notice.

We will be going on a cross country road trip this July l, so that should be interesting. MA to CA. We will see how the connectivity is in the road as we are sure to be streaming for most of it should the connection be stable.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
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Bay Area
He means there might be some places with good T-Mobile service but not AT&T, and other places with good AT&T service but not T-Mobile, so having both gives them a better chance of one of them having service. If they were on the same network, the places where the other carrier has better service wouldn't benefit either of them.
Exactly, and this is one reason my wife and I are on different carriers (the other being inertia).
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
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Florida
I have Verizon, better coverage indoors, and outdoors. Best of both worlds for me. :D As you said, T-Mobil is hit or miss inside, and I cannot afford that. Not to mention when I had it, it was skippy outside as well in my area. Sprint was the same. Never tried AT&T
 

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,615
2,168
New Orleans
I've tried all the four major carriers now. In my experience, Verizon is the absolute best overall. Good enough speeds all the time and extremely rare I don't have service but someone else on another carrier does. AT&T is second and very close to being as good as Verizon, just not quite there. I would have no problem leaving Verizon for AT&T based on coverage and service alone.

Sprint and T-Mobile are both a decent drop off from Verizon and AT&T. They're both good, but there are just too many places I would lose service or it just wouldn't be good enough.

T-Mobile has the fastest network by far where I live. Easily 3x or more as fast than every other network. But as fast as T-Mobile is compared to the other carriers, Sprint is as slow. I've taken a few speed tests since using Sprint and it's very uncommon I get over 10Mbps. Still, 5-10Mbps is fast enough for what I need on a phone, and Sprint seems to have a little better coverage overall than T-Mobile here.
 
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dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
148
12
We used to. Wife used to be with Verizon then I was with att. She had Verizon through work concessions and it was much cheaper for a while. She even used to get a new phone free (to her) every year (iPhone was excluded but she could sell it or otherwise do what she wished). That changed and eventually a family plan was the better deal so we both moved to ATT. We are now on T-Mobile for the same basic reasons you are. She has complained about a dropped call here and there on her drive home from work, but we are saving about $80 a month (part of that is that buying/leasing devices is cheaper through promos), we have more data, and of course streaming videos. My son used 18gb this last month in YouTube steaming. I used 16 between Netflix and music. For us, right now, T-Mobile is the answer. The way I see it, for almost $1000 a year, I'd have to have much greater problems than an occasional dropped call. Of course, I do see 4g much more often than I did with att where I only really saw LTE anywhere I went, but aside from that, I'd hardly notice.

We will be going on a cross country road trip this July l, so that should be interesting. MA to CA. We will see how the connectivity is in the road as we are sure to be streaming for most of it should the connection be stable.

I'd be interested to hear how T-Mobile holds up cross country. I hear its biggest gaps are outside big cities
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,913
3,482
Boston, MA
I'd be interested to hear how T-Mobile holds up cross country. I hear its biggest gaps are outside big cities
I'm considering taking screenshots of the map for dead spots. We will obviously be traveling major interstates so it may not be the greatest indicator. I may start a thread in it. I'm unsure. It will be a pretty big undertaking and we are giving ourselves four days to travel from MA to CA, so we will be pretty busy. That said, plenty of time for the passengers to do whatever the heck they want while in the road lol.
 

btbam91

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
148
110
I have Verizon, better coverage indoors, and outdoors. Best of both worlds for me. :D As you said, T-Mobil is hit or miss inside, and I cannot afford that. Not to mention when I had it, it was skippy outside as well in my area. Sprint was the same. Never tried AT&T

Not really related to your post, but Wi-Fi calling is an amazing feature as it completely negated the poor reception I get inside my home.
 
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gabo864

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2012
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I have a concession line through Verizon with 10GB of data for $45/mo. I can't add more lines to my Verizon employee account So my wife has AT&T, I get 57% off the entire bill. So I pay about $36 for 5gb of data on ATT and I can add up to 5 lines. Both carriers have awesome coverage. I did notice in some areas in Florida she gets better service than I do and some other areas I get better service with Verizon.
 

dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
148
12
Not really related to your post, but Wi-Fi calling is an amazing feature as it completely negated the poor reception I get inside my home.


Yes it's helpful. Also they sent me a free signal booster for my home that works great. But it isn't always possible to get wifi at public buildings, that's the issue sometimes
 

imlynxy

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2012
1,272
449
I tried T-mobile for 8 months. I couldn't use it. It has no service/ congested data in some places I need it. I cannot tell my client "sorry I have T-mobile". For me T-mobile is a populism. But I like their roaming so much. My wife she is ok with both. I decided to freeze T-mo for 3 months and see what they can fix over the summer.
In my friend's family she is with VZW(wants to be covered in Maine where she is 1-2 days per year), he has Att (VZW and T-mo has poor coverage at his work place) and kids are on T-mobile(new generation wants streaming, gaming, etc.). It doesn't matter at all, you have to have satisfaction from what you pay for. For example, I don't have TV service. I don't want to watch "Toyota/McDonald" commercials out of my pocket or pay "million dollars talking heads" their salaries.
 
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alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,177
1,231
NYC
I use AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. It's a long story. Suffice to say it's nice to have variety, stellar coverage, and excellent compatibility.

I just carry a sat phone if I need coverage just about everywhere.
 
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