About Spectrum Mobile
Spectrum Mobile is a telecommunications company that offers reliable mobile phone and wireless services throughout the country. Spectrum Mobile’s offer includes unlimited plans, mobile data plans, and By the Gig plans, a large selection of smart electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, smartwatches, and accessories, a Bring Your Device (BYOD) program, which enables customers to bring their own phone to Spectrum (as long as the phone is carrier-unlocked and compatible with Spectrum’s services), a reliable customer support system, nationwide coverage, and more.
What Kind of a Network Does Spectrum Mobile Use
We have mentioned that Spectrum Mobile grants customers access to a network with reliable nationwide coverage. Now, let’s explore this further.
First of all, it is important to note that Spectrum Mobile is a so-called mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). As such, the company does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, Spectrum uses a much larger carrier’s towers and network.
Using another carrier’s network comes with a set of pros and cons. An obvious advantage of having an agreement with another carrier is the fact that the MVNO does not have any tower maintenance expenses, and can focus on providing the best services to its customers instead. In addition, Spectrum’s customers can use a huge nationwide network at much lower prices than the carrier’s own customers. However, not having your own towers also means having no control over the network and experiencing lower data speeds and patchy signals in times of congestion.
So, Spectrum Mobile uses a network that is ‘borrowed’ from a large carrier. As this large carrier happens to run on CDMA technology, Spectrum Mobile also uses CDMA-supported phones and network. This information is especially relevant for Spectrum’s customers who are planning to bring their own phones.
What Towers Does Spectrum Mobile Use
Now that we have explained the type of network that Spectrum uses, let’s answer the big question – what towers does Spectrum Mobile use?
Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon’s cell phone towers to power its services. Spectrum has an agreement with Verizon, which allows Spectrum’s customers to access and use Verizon’s nationwide coverage and high-speed 4G and 5G networks at much lower prices and with no extra fees.
How Good is Spectrum Mobile Network
Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon’s network and Verizon’s network is one of the best networks in the country, therefore, Spectrum’s network is excellent as well!
Verizon is not only one of America’s three largest carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, which has recently purchased the previously fourth-largest carrier, Sprint), but it is also the carrier with the single-largest 4G LTE coverage in the country.
Verizon’s network towers, which are used by Spectrum, are not completely evenly distributed, but the company’s 4G network covers over 70% of the U.S. territory and reaches over 99% of the entire population. Verizon also offers a fast-growing 5G network, which is currently available in around 13% of the county. Verizon’s network is reliable and available in all urban areas and most rural places as well. The larger and more populated a place, the more chances that you will not only be able to enjoy Verizon’s massive 4G network but its fast 5G network as well.
Spectrum Mobile’s customers can indeed use all of these amazing perks of Verizon’s huge network at lower prices. However, it is important to note that as an MVNO Spectrum will always have a natural disadvantage over Verizon. As a result, in times of congestion, Verizon will prioritize its own customers and offer its MVNOs lower data speeds and patchy reception.
In addition, just like any other carrier’s network coverage, Verizon’s coverage also depends on other factors than just the distribution, strength, and proximity of network towers. For example, the coverage (and therefore signal strength and data speeds) can also be affected by physical obstructions, such as buildings, environmental factors, such as the weather, the terrain, the direction of the wind, radio frequency interference, and electrical interference. This, however, is an occasional challenge that all carriers and MVNOs share.
Spectrum Mobile Coverage Area
As Spectrum uses Verizon’s nationwide coverage, the MVNOs coverage map is the same as the carrier’s. Determining a provider’s coverage and making sure that the signal is strong and the network fast in your area is the most important step in making sure that the provider is a good choice for you.
As such, if you are considering switching to Spectrum, make sure to first carefully analyze the company’s coverage map. Go to spectrum.com/mobile/coverage-map and enter your address, city, or place in the provided search box, which is located on top of the map. Then, you will be able to see whether you will be able to enjoy 4G or 5G speeds and whether or not the coverage seems to be patchy nearby. Perform this search for your home address, work address, and other places where you tend to spend a lot of time.
Spectrum’s 4G coverage is available virtually everywhere. Plus, as Verizon’s 5G coverage is quickly expanding, so is Spectrum’s. In fact, Spectrum’s 5G Ultra network is currently available in the following cities: Akron, Albuquerque, Anaheim, Ann Arbor, Arlington, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, AL, Boise, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia, SC, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Durham, El Paso, Fort Wayne, Fremont, CA, Fresno, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Gresham, Hampton Roads, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hoboken, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Jersey City, Kansas City, Knoxville, TN, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola, FL, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Riverside, CA, Sacramento, CA, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, TX, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sarasota, Scranton, Seattle, Sioux Falls, Spokane, St. Louis, St. Paul, St. Petersburg, Syracuse. Tacoma, Tampa, Tucson, Washington D.C.
You can read one of our past articles How to Get Spectrum Free Phone
What Other Carriers Use the Same Network
As Spectrum is an MVNO that uses Verizon’s network, the companies that use the same network are Verizon and all of Verizon’s other MVNOs, including:
- Affinity Cellular
- Best Cellular
- Boom! Mobile
- Credo Mobile
- Lively (Formerly GreatCall)
- Page Plus Cellular
- Red Pocket Mobile
- Selectel Wireless
- Straight Talk
- Ting Mobile
- Total by Verizon
- Total Wireless
- US Mobile
- Xfinity Mobile
This information is also of utmost importance for those of you who are planning to bring your own phone to Spectrum. If you have purchased the device at Verizon or any of its MVNOs listed above, the device surely supports CDMA technology and is therefore more likely to work with Spectrum’s services.
Nevertheless, even if the device has been purchased from any of these companies, it still has to be carrier-unlocked, running on the most up-to-date operating system software, and otherwise compatible with Spectrum. You can check your phone’s compatibility with Spectrum at spectrum.com/mobile/byod-eligibility-check.
How Does Spectrum Mobile’s Coverage Compare to Other Carriers’
Spectrum Mobile runs on Verizon’s huge network and thus offers its customers nationwide coverage. We have already discussed that Spectrum offers a very large and reliable network that reaches over 99% of the entire U.S. population. But how does it compare to other carriers’ networks?
4G LTE Coverage Comparison
- Verizon (and its MVNOs) enjoy the largest 4G coverage in the country which covers over 70% of the country’s territory. This makes Spectrum one of the providers with the best network.
- AT&T (and its MVNOs) have the second-largest 4G coverage, covering approximately 68% of the territory.
- T-Mobile (and its MVNOs) have the lowest 4G coverage, which covers about 63% of the country.
5G Coverage Comparison
When it comes to 5G coverage, the situation is reverse:
- T-Mobile (and its MVNOs) have by far the largest 5G coverage, covering over 41% of the territory.
- AT&T (and its MVNOs) have the second-largest 5G network with 18% of the territory covered.
- Verizon (and its MVNOs, including Spectrum) comes in last when it comes to the 5G network, covering 13% of the territory. 13% may not sound like a lot, but as you can see above, it still reaches most large urban areas.
It is important to note that all the three largest carriers are growing their 5G networks incredibly quickly, as such the power dynamics in the 5G category may soon change.
Overall, Verizon’s network still covers the largest portion of the country’s territory, and therefore, Spectrum benefits greatly from using its towers.
In case you also need information How to Qualify for Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program