List of United States wireless communications service providers

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This is a list of United States wireless communications service providers. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), lists approximately 30 facilities-based wireless service providers in the United States as members. Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) has over 100 members.[1] Besides the facilities-based providers there are 50+ virtual operators that use the top four networks to provide the service.

Largest U.S. wireless providers[edit]

The top 4 wireless telecommunications facilities-based service providers by subscriber count in the United States are:


Each active SIM card is considered a subscriber.[6] Wholesale customers include Machine to machine and Mobile Virtual Network Operator customers that operate on the host network, but are managed by wholesale partners. Verizon Wireless does not report wholesale subscriber count. For comparison purpose, the total subscriber count for Verizon Wireless includes an estimated number of wholesale customers.

Technologies used[edit]

The top 5 wireless providers have all standardized on 4G LTE as their wireless communication standard, which has been deployed across the entire coverage; however, the LTE bands used by each provider remain largely incompatible. All 5 wireless providers also maintain legacy networks; of these, AT&T and T-Mobile use 2G GSM/EDGE and 3G UMTS (mostly converted to 4G HSPA+), while Verizon, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular use cdmaOne/EV-DO/1xRTT. While the top 4 wireless providers operate nationwide wireless networks which cover most of the population in the United States, U.S. Cellular and other smaller carriers provide native network coverage across selected regions of the United States while supplementing nationwide coverage through roaming agreements with other carriers.

As of 2016 all operators have adopted LTE, which includes provisioning of service through SIM cards. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint sell SIM cards through their retail channels in-store and online however the selection of devices compatible with Verizon and Sprint networks is limited.[7] All carriers except Sprint have enabled VoLTE on their networks.

AT&T shut its GSM network down on December 31, 2016.[8]

T-Mobile plans to reduce spectrum allocated for GSM and use the network mostly for nomadic and non-mobile GSM services[9] through 2020.[10] T-Mobile hopes to shut down 3G network "long before 2020."[9] As of September 2016, 60% of calls were on VoLTE.[11]

Verizon introduced first LTE-only phone, LG Exalt LTE, in June 2017.[12] Verizon plans to shut down CDMA 1xRTT network by the end of 2019.[13] CDMA EV-DO was scheduled to operate until 2021 according to the plan announced in 2012.[14] As of May 2017 half of voice traffic is on VoLTE.[15]

Facilities-based service providers[edit]

The following tables lists service providers that own and manage their network equipment and facilities. Unless specified otherwise the subscriber count includes subscribers on the virtual networks hosted.

Contiguous US and Hawaii[edit]

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
Appalachian Wireless [16] CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.120[17] (January 2014) KY, WV East Kentucky Network, LLC
AT&T Mobility
Includes Cricket Wireless and hosted virtual operators
UMTS, VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling HSPA+, LTE 138.8 (October 2017)[3] Contiguous US; AK, HI, PR, VI AT&T
Big River Broadband LTE Unknown MO Big River Telephone
Big Sky Mobile [18] GSM EDGE Unknown MT iSmart Mobile, LLC
Blaze Wireless [19] GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown NE Pinpoint Communications
Blue Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown NY, PA Buffalo-Lake Erie Wireless
Bluegrass Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.180[20] (April 2014) KY Bluegrass Cellular, Inc.
Bravado Wireless
•Former Sprocket Wireless
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown OK Cross Communications
Breakaway Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown UT Manti Tele Communications
Broadpoint GSM EDGE Unknown Gulf of Mexico Alta Communications
Bug Tussel Wireless
wholesale roaming provider
UMTS HSPA+, LTE Unknown WI Bug Tussel Wireless, LLC
C Spire Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 1.2[21] (May 2016) MS, TN, FL, AL, Telapex, Inc.
Carolina West Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.08 (April 2013)[22] NC Carolina West Wireless, Inc.
Cellcom CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.3[23] (July 2013) WI NSight Telservices
Cellular One of East Arizona GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.1[17] (January 2014) AZ, NM Smith Bagley Inc.
Cellular One GSM, UMTS, wholesale CDMA2000[24] EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown TX, LA Alta Communications
Chariton Valley Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MO Chariton Valley Telephone Company
Chat Mobility CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown IA RSA 1 and Iowa RSA No. 2 Limited Partnership
Choice Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown NV, CO, AZ, NM, VI Atlantic Tele-Network
ClearTalk Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown AZ, CA, NM, TX Flat Wireless
Colorado Valley Communications LTE Unknown TX Colorado Valley Telephone Coop
Commnet Wireless (wholesale) CDMA2000, GSM EV-DO, EDGE, UMTS, LTE Unknown AZ, CO, MT, NM, NV, TX, UT, WY Atlantic Tele-Network
CTC Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown ID Cambridge Telephone Company
Custer Telephone Cooperative CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown ID Custer Telephone Cooperative, Inc
DTC Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown TN Advantage Cellular Systems, Inc.
ETC
Enhanced Telecommunication Corporation
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown IN Miles Communications
Evolve Broadband LTE Unknown TX Worldcall Interconnect Inc.
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown ID Farmers Mutual Telephone Company
FTC Wireless UMTS HSPA+, LTE[25] Unknown SC Farmers Telephone Cooperative Inc.
iWireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown IA, WI, IL Iowa Wireless Services (46%) and T-Mobile US (54%) [26]
Illinois Valley Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown IL Illinois Valley Cellular RSA 2-III Partnership
Indigo Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA Unknown PA Indigo Wireless
Infrastructure Networks LTE Unknown TX, ND Infrastructure Networks, Inc.
Inland Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.013[27](July 2013) WA, ID Inland Cellular
Limitless Mobile UMTS HSPA+, LTE Unknown PA Limitless Mobile, LLC, Debtor-In-Possession[28]
Mid-Rivers Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MT Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative. Inc
MobileNation CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown TN SI Wireless, LLC
Nemont
includes Sagebrush Cellular
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MT, ND Nemont Telephone Cooperative
Nex-Tech Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown KS Nex-Tech
NMobile CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown NM Leaco Wireless, Inc.
NNTC Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown CO Nucla Naturita Telephone Company
NorthwestCell CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MO NorthwestCell
NVC CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown SD James Valley Telecommunications
Phoenix Communications GSM EDGE Unknown OK Oklahoma Western Telephone Company
Pine Belt Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown AL Pine Belt Communications
Pine Cellular GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown OK Pine Cellular, Inc
Pioneer Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.06[17] (January 2014) OK, KS Pioneer Cellular
PTCI GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown OK Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc
Redzone Wireless LTE Unknown ME Redzone Wireless, LLC
Rock Wireless UMTS HSPA+, LTE[29] Unknown ND, SD Standing Rock Telecom (Tribally Owned)
S and R Communications VoLTE LTE Unknown IN S and R Communications, LLC
Shentel
•Sprint Affiliate [30]
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.96[31] (April 2017) KY, MD, OH, NC, PA, VA, WV Shenandoah Telecommunications Company
Silver Star Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown WY Silver Star Telephone Company, Inc
Snake River PCS CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown OR Eagle Telephone System
SouthernLINC iDEN LTE 0.17[32] (April 2011) AL, GA, MS, FL Southern Company
Sprint Corporation
•Including hosted virtual operators, and Boost Mobile
CDMA2000, Wi-Fi calling EV-DO, LTE 54 (October 2017)[5] Contiguous US; HI, PR, VI SoftBank Corporation (80%)
STRATA Networks CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown UT, WY, CO Uintah Basin Electronics Telecommunications, Inc.
T-Mobile US
•Including hosted virtual operators and affiliates
•Subscriber count includes MetroPCS
GSM, UMTS, VoLTE,[33]Wi-Fi calling EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 70.7 (October 2017)[4] Contiguous US; HI, PR, VI Deutsche Telekom (67%)
Thumb Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.037 MI Agri-Valley Communications
Triangle Mobile CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MT Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association, Inc.
Union Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.041 WY, CO Union Telephone
United Wireless
•Includes Westlink Communications
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.022[34] (Sep 2016) KS United Wireless Communications, Inc.
U.S. Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 5.0[35] (August 2017) 23 states Telephone and Data Systems
Verizon Wireless
•Including hosted virtual operators
CDMA2000, VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling EV-DO, LTE 149.0[2] (October 2017) Contiguous US; AK, HI Verizon

[2]

Viaero Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.04[36] NE, CO, KS Northeast Colorado Cellular, Inc.
VTel LTE Unknown VT Vermont Telephone Company, Inc.
West Central Wireless
•Including Right Wireless and Five Star Wireless
GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.04[37] (November 2012) TX Central Texas Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
WUE CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown NV Wue, Inc.

Alaska[edit]

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
ASTAC GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown AK The Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative
AT&T Mobility GSM, UMTS, VoLTE EDGE, HSPA+, LTE See above Contiguous US; AK, HI, PR, VI AT&T
Bristol Bay Cellular Partnership CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown AK BBTC Inc.
Copper Valley Telecom CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown AK Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc
Cordova Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, WiMAX Unknown AK Cordova Telephone
GCI Wireless GSM, UMTS
(legacy: CDMA2000[38])
EDGE, HSPA+, LTE
(legacy: EV-DO[38])
0.222 (April 2017)[39] AK General Communication (100%)[40]
MTA Solutions CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown AK Matanuska Telephone Association, Inc
OTZ Cellular GSM EDGE Unknown AK OTZ Telephone Cooperative
TelAlaska Cellular GSM EDGE Unknown AK American Broadband
Verizon Wireless CDMA2000, VoLTE EV-DO, LTE See above Contiguous US; AK, HI Verizon

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands[edit]

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
AT&T Mobility GSM, UMTS, VoLTE EDGE, HSPA+, LTE See above PR, VI, Contiguous US, AK, HI AT&T
Claro GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 1.4[41] (December 2012) PR América Móvil
Choice Wireless
rebranding as Viya
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown VI, NV, CO, AZ, NM Atlantic Tele-Network
Viya
former Innovative Wireless and Choice Wireless[42]
GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA Unknown VI Atlantic Tele-Network [43]
Open Mobile CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown PR M/C Venture Partners and Columbia Capital.

Merging with Sprint[44]

Sprint Corporation CDMA2000,
IMS Wi-Fi calling[45]
EV-DO, LTE See above PR, VI, Contiguous US, HI SoftBank Corporation (80%)
T-Mobile US GSM, UMTS, VoLTE,[33]
IMS Wi-Fi calling[46]
EDGE, HSPA+, LTE See above PR, VI, Contiguous US; HI Deutsche Telekom (67%)

Guam and Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
DoCoMo Pacific GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown GU, MP NTT DoCoMo
GTA GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown GU TeleGuam Holdings LLC
IT&E GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown GU IT&E Overseas, Inc
iConnect GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE Unknown GU, MP Wave Runner LLC

American Samoa[edit]

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
Bluesky GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown AS
ASTCA CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown AS Government of American Samoa

Defunct, merged and acquired operators[edit]

Some operators listed below may still function as a separate brand but they no longer own any infrastructure (towers, network, etc.).

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
End date Notes
Airfire Mobile GSM EDGE 0.02 June 2014 Acquired by U.S. Cellular.[47]
Alaska Communications GSM, UMTS
(legacy: CDMA2000[38])
EDGE, HSPA+, LTE
(legacy: EV-DO[38])
0.103[48] (December 2014) February 2015 Acquired by General Communication[49]
Alltel CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO 13 (at peak) September 2013 Acquired by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.[50]
Cellular One of East Central Illinois GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown January 2016 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[51]
Cellular One of Northeast Pennsylvania CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO Unknown March 2012 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[52]
Choice Wireless
former Amerilink Wireless
GSM EDGE Unknown 2016 Became a T-Mobile US MVNO.
Cincinnati Bell Wireless GSM, UMTS,
GAN Wi-Fi calling[53]
EDGE, HSPA+ 0.34[54] (January 2014) February 2015 Spectrum assets acquired by Verizon Wireless, service to any customers remaining on the network was shut off after February 28, 2015.[55]
Cleartalk
affiliate of Clear Talk Wireless
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown 2016 WGH Communications sold South Carolina licenses to T-Mobile US and exited the business
Clearwire WiMAX 11[56] (June 2012) December 2013 Acquired by Sprint.[57]
Corr Wireless GSM EDGE 0.02[58] 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[58]
Element Mobile CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.077[59] (August 2011) 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[60][61]
Epic PCS GSM EDGE Unknown 2015 Acquired by United Wireless and PTCI.[62]
Fuego Wireless LTE Unknown 2016 Sold network and spectrum licenses to AT&T and Infrastructure Networks[63]
Golden State Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.018[64] 2014 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[65]
KTC PACE GSM EDGE Unknown 2015 Became an AT&T Mobility MVNO.[66]
Leap Wireless International (Cricket Communications, Inc.)
•Includes Cricket PAYGo & RadioShack No Contract Wireless
CDMA,
GSM,
UMTS
EDGE,
HSPA+,
LTE
4.57[67] (February 2014) 2014 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[67]
Long Lines Wireless GSM EDGE 0.018[68](November 2013) December 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility[69]
MetroPCS Communications, Inc. CDMA EV-DO, LTE 9.5 May 2013 Acquired by T-Mobile US.[70]
miSpot LTE Unknown November 2014
Mobi PCS CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.065[71] (July 2013) 2014 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[65]
Mosaic Telecom UMTS HSPA+, LTE Unknown 2016 Discontinued cellular service [72]
NEP Wireless GSM EDGE, LTE 0.011[73] (June 2010) September 2015 [74]
Nextel iDEN WiDEN 15 (Apr 2004) 2004 Acquired by Sprint.[75]
nTelos CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.300 (September 2015) May 2016 Acquired by Shentel [76]
Peoples Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown 2015 [77]
Plateau Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ 0.042[78] (September 2014) 2014 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[79]
Pocket Communications CDMA2000 1xRTT Unknown October 2010 Merged with Cricket.[80]
PrimeCo Wireless CDMA Unknown Unknown 1999 Became Verizon Wireless.[81]
Revol Wireless CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO Unknown January 2014 Sold spectrum licenses to Sprint.[82] Boost to pick up subscribers[83]
SRT Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown April 2017 Exited wireless service business [84]
Standing Rock Telecom CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown November 2014 Shut down CDMA for UMTS/LTE and rebranded to Rock Wireless
Stelera Wireless HSPA Unknown April 2013 Defunct.[85]
Syringa Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.00135 December 2015 Discontinued cellular service[86]
TerreStar GSM EDGE, HSPA Unknown 2010 Acquired by Dish Network[87]
Westlink Wireless GSM EDGE Unknown 2013 Acquired by United Wireless.[88]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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