Q Link Wireless is a popular American telecommunications company that provides free cell phone service with unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data to its Lifeline eligible customers. This fast-growing company is a leading provider of Lifeline – the free government benefit program that offers free wireless phone services to eligible consumers. In addition to unlimited services, they also offer free voicemail, caller ID, high-quality mobile devices, the option to bring your own phone, and a no-bill, no-fee, no-credit-check, and no-contract service.
Q Link is Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), therefore it has a contract with T-Mobile to use its network. As such, they offer reliable nationwide coverage that serves more than 97% of the US territory and residents.
What Network Towers Does Q Link Wireless Use?
As an MVNO, Q Link Wireless has an agreement with a larger network provider to use their towers. Previously, they used to rely on Sprint’s towers to provide service to their consumers. Nowadays, since Sprint merged with T-Mobile in April 2020, they use T-Mobile’s network towers. As Sprint had used the CDMA network and T-Mobile uses GSM technology, Q Link Wireless customers should be able to use the now common network regardless of whether they have a CDMA or GSM-supported mobile device. In addition, their network also offers LTE network services and most recent smartphones are designed to work perfectly with 4G (or even 5G) LTE network.
How Good Is The Q Link Wireless Network?
Since T-Mobile and Sprint have merged to join powers, they have created a huge, fast, and very reliable nationwide coverage. While their 4G LTE network connects 99% of all American residents, they also have by far the largest 5G network in the country. As Q Link uses this new merged T-Mobile/Sprint network, their coverage is more than good – it’s excellent!
Q Link Wireless Coverage Area
Q Link’s coverage area is huge. Officially, it serves over 97% of the United States and reaches over 280 million people. They provide services in most US states, including Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, but their services are not available everywhere.
Network coverage depends on several factors, such as the area, terrain, building structures, weather, signal strength, traffic volumes, technical limitation, service outages, and others.
To check if their service is available in your area, you can apply online or you can check the Q Link’s official coverage map and check for coverage in particular areas by entering detailed addresses.
In case you also need information Qlink Wireless Phone Upgrade Guide
How Q Link Wireless Coverage Can Compare
As Q Link uses the new T-Mobile/Sprint network, their coverage is basically the same and can easily be compared, even though the network tower’s owners tend to have a small advantage. T-Mobile’s network towers are spread throughout the country and reach more than 8300 towns and cities in the country. Their 5G coverage is twice as big as Verizon or AT&T’s and their 4G coverage lags slightly behind, but still covers 99% of the population. Q Link’s coverage can also be compared with other carriers who are using the same network (check it out in chapter 6).
5G coverage comparison:
- T-Mobile: 36.7% 5G coverage (covers 80% of the population)
- AT&T: 15.9% 5G coverage
- Verizon: 10.9% 5G coverage
4G coverage comparison:
- Verizon: 70% 4G coverage
- AT&T: 68% 4G coverage
- T-Mobile: 62% 4G coverage (covers 99% of the population)
Is the Q Link Wireless Network Reliable? How Reliable?
It’s important to understand that the coverage comparison provided above is between America’s top three largest carrier companies. The major US carriers used to be called ‘the big four’ (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), now, as Sprint is out of the running, they are known as ‘the big three’ (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile). As such, all of these companies offer by far the largest and most reliable networks in the country. They all have thousands of towers located all over the country and utilize the latest technology to spread their services. The sole fact that Q Link Wireless uses the network of one of the big three is enough proof that their network is very reliable indeed.
If you need the exact numbers, T-Mobile has 62% 4G coverage that reaches 99% of the population and the largest 5G coverage that covers 36.7% of the territory and 80% of the population. Even though Q Link uses T-Mobile’s impressive network, it officially has a 97% coverage and the small percentage difference may be due to the advantage the tower’s owners have over their renters. As we have mentioned before, the exact service availability may also depend on some other factors, such as the weather, terrain, building structures, etc. Overall, Q Link offers a very reliable network coverage throughout the country, including in remote rural areas.
What Other Carriers Use the Same Network?
Most of the country’s Mobile Virtual Network Operators that were using either the old T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s network towers, now use the new T-Mobile’s towers. The new T-Mobile network is used by the MVNO’s listed below as well as some others.
- Q Link Wireless
- Mint Mobile
- Simple Mobile
- Boost Mobile
- US Mobile
- Straight Talk
- Google Fi
- Consumer Cellular
- Best Cellular
- Ting Mobile
- Eco Mobile
- ZIP SIM
- Republic Wireless
- GoSmart Mobile
- Red Pocket Mobile
- Walmart Family Mobile
- UNREAL Mobile
- Metro by T-Mobile
- Hello Mobile
- Mango Mobile
- Ultra Mobile
- Mango Mobile
- SpeedTalk Mobile
- Gen Mobile
Which Network Device Does Q Link Wireless Use? GSM or CDMA?
Former Sprint used the CDMA (stands for Code Division Multiple Access) radio network standard, while T-Mobile uses GSM (stands for Global System for Mobiles) technology. As such, Q Link Wireless uses both GSM and CDMA-supported devices.
Q Link mostly offers modern devices that feature the latest technologies, therefore many of them support both GSM and CDMA network standards, as well as LTE network. Most recent phone models are designed to work perfectly with all three network standards. However, it depends on the model and this is definitely something you should check before purchasing a phone, regardless of whether you buy one at Q Link or bring the one you are currently using, like the fact which network standard is supported determines whether you will get T-Mobile’s or former Sprint’s network, which has different coverages in different areas of the country.
Q Link offers very diverse phones, from mid-range to high-end devices, new and refurbished, for very different prices. To their Lifeline eligible customers, they even offer free phones. In addition, they offer you the option to bring your own phone, which must be Q Link compatible (unlocked and GSM/CDMA/LTE supported).
Some of the devices currently sold at Q Link include:
- Motorola Moto G6 PLAY (supports all three major network technologies – GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy S8 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- HOT Pepper Poblano VLE5 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- ZTE Quest 5 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- LG Stylo 5 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy A10e (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- LG X Charge (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy A20 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Alcatel OneTouch Elevate (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy A6 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- LG Stylo 4 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Motorola Moto E4 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy A50 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Apple iPhone 5c (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
- Samsung Galaxy S9 (supports GSM, CDMA, LTE)
Q Link Wireless Plans That Use Sprint or T-Mobile network
Q Link offers a number of different prepaid affordable or even free monthly no-contract plans for both Lifeline and non-Lifeline subscribers, including the ones listed below.
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan, which includes 4.5 GB of data, unlimited talk, and unlimited text
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan (500 MB Data Bundle), which adds an additional 500 MB of data for $15 a month
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan (1 GB Data Bundle), which adds an additional 1 GB of data for $25 a month
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan (3 GB Data Bundle), which adds an additional 3 GB of data for $40 a month
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan (5 GB Data Bundle), which adds an additional 5 GB of data for $50 a month
- Free Lifeline Monthly Plan (Unlimited Data Bundle), which adds unlimited data for $60 a month
- Global Connect Unlimited International Plan (rate per minute)
- World Link International Plan (rate per minute)
To see which network each of those plans uses, you must be a Q Link member.
Important Things About Q Link Wireless Coverage – are There Any Limitations of Q Link Wireless Which You Should Know About?
Even though Q Link offers top-notch fast and reliable nationwide coverage, there are some limitations you should be aware of.
- First of all, although they use the new T-Mobile’s network, T-Mobile, as the owner of the widespread network towers, has a slight advantage over its MVNO’s, including Q Link Wireless. As such, Q Link’s coverage may be a bit less reliable than the original T-Mobile’s.
- When it comes to 5G coverage, T-Mobile is the definite winner. However, when it comes to 4G coverage, T-Mobile has the third-largest coverage among ‘the big three’ (covering 62% of the territory and 99% of the population) – a fact that some customers dislike.
- Q Link’s services are not available in all states.
- Q Link’s actual service availability depends on some other factors, including the area, terrain, building structures, weather, signal strength, traffic volumes, technical limitation, service outages, and others.
Pros and Cons of Q Link Wireless Network
As is the case with any other wireless service provider, the QLink Wireless network comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages. Here is the list of the network and the company’s pros and cons.
- Q Link offers reliable and steady network coverage
- They provide national coverage and the ability to make international calls
- They offer a large selection of high-quality cell phones
- They offer a number of affordable plans
- For Lifeline eligible customers they offer free monthly plans
- They have a simple enrollment process
- They offer a reliable customer care service
- Customers have no monthly bills, no fees, no surcharges, no credit checks, and no contracts.
- Their services are not available in all states and it may take a while before they expand
What Type of Services Does Q Link Provide
Q Link is one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing Lifeline service providers. They provide free cellular phone service with free monthly data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts to numerous citizens with low income. They offer free monthly minute plans with refill options, affordable prepaid wireless cell phone service for both Lifeline eligible and non-Lifeline subscribers, access to the largest nationwide coverage, and the ability to make international calls. One of the amazing things about Q Link is that customers get no monthly bills, no credit checks, no fees, no surcharges, and no contracts. They also provide a large variety of high-quality cell phones and even free government cell phones to low-income people who qualify via the Lifeline Assistance program. In addition, there is the possibility to bring your own phone, a reliable, responsive, and comprehensive customer service center, and many other user-friendly deals.
There are not many service providers that offer affordable (or even free), yet truly reliable and high-quality phone plans. Their coverage is huge, according to some the best in the country (after all, they use T-Mobile’s new improved network). As they also offer simple enrollment criteria, which enable you to get a free plan and phone, a cheap and simple phone replacement process, convenient return policies, and other benefits, Q Link is truly one of the best service providers in America, especially for Lifeline eligible consumers.
Read one of our past articles How To Replace Qlink Wireless Phone