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

The top 5 wireless providers have all standardized on 4G LTE as their wireless communication standard, which has been deployed in most major population centers; however, the LTE bands used by each provider remain largely incompatible. Additionally, AT&T and T-Mobile have standardised on 4G HSPA+ in addition to LTE. 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.

AT&T has announced definitive plans to shutdown their legacy GSM/EDGE 850MHz and 1900MHz networks by 2017; which will leave T-Mobile as the only nationwide GSM 1900 operator.

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.

Facilities-based service providers[edit]

The following table lists service providers that own and manage their network equipment and facilities. See also the complete list of virtual operators. Unless specified otherwise the subscriber count includes subscribers on the virtual networks hosted.

Operator Voice technology Data technology Subscribers
(in millions)
(excluding roaming)
Adams Networks LTE Unknown IL Adams NetWorks, Inc.
Appalachian Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.120[7] (January 2014) KY, WV Appalachian Wireless
Partnership between Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative, Mountain Telephone, Coalfields Telephone, Foothills Telephone, and Thaker Grigsby Telephone[8]
ASTAC UMTS HSPA+ Unknown AK The Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative
AT&T Mobility
•Includes Cricket Wireless, GoPhone Prepaid and hosted virtual operators
GSM, UMTS, LTE EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 128.6 (January 2016)[3] Contiguous US; AK, HI, PR, VI AT&T
Big River Broadband LTE Unknown MO Big River Telephone
Big Sky Mobile GSM Unknown MT iSmart Mobile, LLC
Blue Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown NY, PA Buffalo-Lake Erie Wireless
Bluegrass Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.180[9] (April 2014) KY Bluegrass Cellular, Inc.
Breakaway Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown UT Manti Tele Communications
Bristol Bay Cellular Partnership CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown AK BBTC Inc.
Bug Tussel Wireless HSPA+ Unknown WI Bug Tussel Wireless, LLC
C Spire Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.887[10] (September 2011) MS, TN, FL, AL, Telapex
Carolina West Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.08 (April 2013)[11] NC Carolina West Wireless Partnership between Skyline Telephone, Surry Telephone and Wilkes Telephone
Cellcom CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.3[12] (July 2013) WI NSight Telservices
Cellular One of East Arizona GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ 0.1[7] (January 2014) AZ, NM Smith Bagley Inc.
Cellular One of East Central Illinois GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown IL Cellular Properties Inc.
Cellular One
•Subscriber count includes Broadpoint
GSM, UMTS, wholesale CDMA2000[13] EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown TX, LA TX-10, LLC, Central Louisiana Cellular LLC, MTPCS, LLC.
Chariton Valley Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MO Chariton Valley Telephone Company
Chat Mobility CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown IA Chatmobility
Choice Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, WiMAX, LTE Unknown AZ, CO, NV, NM, Navajo Nation (LTE), VI (WiMAX) Commnet Wireless
Choice Wireless (former Cellular One TXOK) GSM EDGE Unknown TX Choice Wireless, LC
Clear Talk (Flat Wireless) CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown SC, AZ, CO, TX, TN, CA NTCH
Colorado Valley Communications LTE Unknown TX Colorado Valley Telephone Coop
Commnet Wireless (wholesale) CDMA2000, GSM EV-DO, EDGE, UMTS Unknown Various states Commnet Wireless
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
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 EDGE Unknown TN DTC Wireless Systems
ETC (Enhanced Telecommunication Corporation) CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown IN ETC Miles Communications
Evolve Broadband LTE Unknown TX Evolve Broadband Worldcall Interconnect Inc.
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown ID Farmers Mutual Telephone Company
Fuego Wireless LTE Unknown NM, TX Fuego Wireless, LLC
GCI Wireless GSM, UMTS
(legacy: CDMA2000[14])
(legacy: EV-DO[14])
0.232 (September 2015)[15] AK General Communication (100%)[16]
iWireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ Unknown IA, WI, IL Iowa Wireless Services and T-Mobile US (Partnership)
Illinois Valley Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO 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 0.013[17](July 2013) WA, ID Inland Cellular
Innovative Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA Unknown VI, PR Vitelcom Cellular, Inc.
Limitless Mobile UMTS HSPA+, LTE Unknown PA Limitless Mobile Ltd.
Mid-Rivers Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown MT Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative. Inc
MobileNation CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown TN SI Wireless, LLC
Mosaic Telecom UMTS HSPA+, LTE Unknown WI CTC Telcom, Inc. dba Mosaic Telecom
MTA Solutions CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown AK Matanuska Telephone Association, Inc
Nemont 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
•To be acquired by Shentel.[18]
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.300[19] (September 2015) VA, WV, MD, OH, KY, NC nTelos Holdings Corp.
NVC CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown SD James Valley Telecommunications
OTZ Cellular GSM Unknown AK OTZ Telephone Cooperative
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[7] (January 2014) OK, KS Pioneer Cellular
PTCI GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA, LTE Unknown OK Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc
Rock Wireless UMTS HSPA+, LTE[20] Unknown ND, SD Standing Rock Telecom Tribally Owned
S and R Communications LTE Unknown IN S and R Communications, LLC
•Sprint Affiliate [21]
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.448[22] (September 2015) VA, PA, MD, 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[23] (April 2011) AL, GA, MS, FL Southern Company
Sprint Corporation
•Including hosted virtual operators
IMS Wi-Fi calling[24]
EV-DO, LTE 58.4 (January 2016)[5] Contiguous US; HI, PR, VI SoftBank Corporation (80%)
Sprocket Wireless/Cross Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown OK Cross Communications
SRT Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO Unknown ND North Dakota Network Co.
STRATA Networks CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown UT, WY, CO STRATA Networks
T-Mobile US
•Including hosted virtual operators and affiliates
•Subscriber count includes MetroPCS
IMS Wi-Fi calling[26]
EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 63.2 (December 2015)[4] Contiguous US; HI, PR, VI Deutsche Telekom (67%)
TelAlaska Cellular GSM EDGE Unknown AK American Broadband
Thumb Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.037 MI Agri-Valley Communications
Union Wireless GSM, UMTS, LTE EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.041 WY, CO, UT, MT Union Telephone
United Wireless
•Includes Westlink Communications
CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.016[27] (June 2012) KS United Wireless
U.S. Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 4.8[6] (November 2015) 23 states
Verizon Wireless
•Including hosted virtual operators
CDMA2000, LTE EV-DO, LTE 137.5[2] (October 2015) Contiguous US; AK, HI Verizon
Viaero Wireless GSM, UMTS, LTE EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.04[28] CO, NE, KS Viaero Wireless
VTel LTE Unknown VT Vermont Telephone Company, Inc.
West Central Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+, LTE 0.04[29] (November 2012) TX Central Texas Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

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.[30]
Alaska Communications GSM, UMTS
(legacy: CDMA2000[14])
(legacy: EV-DO[14])
0.103[31] (December 2014) February 2015 Acquired by General Communication[32]
Alltel CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO 13 (at peak) September 2013 Acquired by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.[33]
Cellular One of Northeast Pennsylvania CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO Unknown March 2012 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[34]
Cincinnati Bell Wireless GSM, UMTS,
GAN Wi-Fi calling[35]
EDGE, HSPA+ 0.34[36] (January 2014) October 2014 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[37]
Clearwire WiMAX 11[38] (June 2012) December 2013 Acquired by Sprint.[39]
Corr Wireless GSM EDGE 0.02[40] 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[40]
Element Mobile CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.077[41] (August 2011) 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[42][43]
Epic PCS GSM EDGE Unknown 2015 Acquired by United Wireless and PTCI.[44]
Golden State Cellular CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.018[45] 2014 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[46]
KTC PACE GSM EDGE Unknown 2015 Became an AT&T Mobility MVNO.[47]
Leap Wireless International (Cricket Communications, Inc.)
•Includes Cricket PAYGo & RadioShack No Contract Wireless
4.57[48] (February 2014) 2014 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[48]
Long Lines Wireless GSM EDGE 0.018[49](November 2013) December 2013 Acquired by AT&T Mobility[50]
MetroPCS Communications, Inc. CDMA EV-DO, LTE 9.5 May 2013 Acquired by T-Mobile US.[51]
miSpot LTE Unknown November 2014
Mobi PCS CDMA2000 EV-DO 0.065[52] (July 2013) 2014 Acquired by Verizon Wireless.[46]
NEP Wireless GSM EDGE, LTE 0.011[53] (June 2010) September 2015 [54]
Nextel iDEN WiDEN 15 (Apr 2004) 2004 Acquired by Sprint.[55]
Peoples Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE Unknown 2015 [56]
Plateau Wireless GSM, UMTS EDGE, HSPA+ 0.042[57] (September 2014) 2014 Acquired by AT&T Mobility.[58]
Pocket Communications CDMA2000 1xRTT Unknown October 2010 Merged with Cricket.[59]
PrimeCo Wireless CDMA Unknown Unknown 1999 Became Verizon Wireless.[60]
Revol Wireless CDMA CDMA2000, EV-DO Unknown January 2014 Sold spectrum licenses to Sprint.[61] Boost to pick up subscribers[62]
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.[63]
Syringa Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO, LTE 0.00135 December 2015
TerreStar GSM EDGE, HSPA Unknown 2010 Acquired by Dish Network[64]
Westlink Wireless GSM EDGE Unknown 2013 Acquired by United Wireless.[65]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b "How Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and more stacked up in Q3 2015: The top 8 carriers". FierceWireless. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Form 8-K" (PDF). AT&T. January 26, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "T-Mobile Adds Over 8 Million Customers for Second Consecutive Year". T-Mobile US. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "The Sprint Quarterly Investor Update" (PDF). Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Cellular reports third quarter 2015 results". Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Comments in Response to White Paper" (PDF). 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  8. ^ Unwrap Appalachian Wireless This Christmas
  9. ^ "Ex Parte Presentation". FCC. 2014-04-10. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  10. ^ Hachman, Mark (2011-09-11). "Cellular South Sues to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger". PC Magazine. 
  11. ^ "Small operators prep for LTE, despite uncertainties". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  12. ^ "Squeezed by wireless giants, have the regional mobile carriers just given up?". 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  13. ^ "Verizon Wireless Adds New Rural 4G LTE Partner". 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  14. ^ a b c d "AWN – Questions and Answers - After the Transaction Closes, What Will AWN Do?". Retrieved 2013-12-16. 
  15. ^ "GCI REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2015 FINANCIAL RESULTS". 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  16. ^ "GCI To Purchase Wireless Subscriber Base From Alaska Communications". 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2014-12-05. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Sprint affiliate Shentel buys fellow wholesale partner nTelos for $640M". Fierce Wireless. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  19. ^ "NTELOS Holdings Corp. Reports Third Quarter 2015 Results". 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  20. ^ "Rock Wireless launches LTE service in remote areas of the Dakotas thanks to Mobility Fund". 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  21. ^ "Shentel to become Sprint LTE affiliate". FierceWireless. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  22. ^ "Shenandoah Telecommunications Company Reports Third Quarter 2015 Net Income of $8.0 Million, Adjusted OIBDA Up 10.7%". Shentel. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  23. ^ "SouthernLINC Wireless at a Glance | SouthernLINC Wireless". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  24. ^ "Sprint Selects Kineto for Wi-Fi Calling". 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  25. ^ "T-Mobile Brings Voice over LTE to Seattle - T-Mobile Newsroom". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  26. ^ "Overview: IMS Wi-Fi Calling". 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  27. ^ "LTE Interoperability: the Fix Regional Carriers Count On". 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Wisconsin's AirFire Mobile to shut down, will sell spectrum, tower assets to U.S. Cellular for $91.5M". FierceWireless. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  31. ^ "Alaska Communications Reports Strong 4Q and Year-End 2014 Results". 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  32. ^ "Alaska Communications Closes Transaction of Selling Wireless Business to GCI for $300 Million". 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  33. ^ "Let the spectrum harvest begin: FCC okays AT&T’s purchase of Alltel". 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  34. ^ "Verizon Wireless Completes Purchase Of Cellular One Of Northeast Pennsylvania". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  35. ^ Commercial name: Fusion Wi-Fi. Available only on two BlackBerry phone models as of Dec 2013
  36. ^ "Cincinnati Bell Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  37. ^ "Cincinnati Bell closes wireless sale to Verizon". 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  38. ^ "Clearwire Reports Second Quarter 2012 Results (NASDAQ:CLWR)". Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  39. ^ "The CLEAR – Clearwire Brand Name Ends December 31, 2013". 2013-08-24. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  40. ^ a b "Corr Wireless Acquired By AT&T; Wireless Industry Consolidation Continues". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  41. ^ "Consumer complaints continue to rise against Element Mobile". 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  42. ^ "AT&T taking over Element Mobile in Wisconsin, will replace CDMA network with HSPA". 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  43. ^ "Welcome Element". Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  44. ^ "Epic PCS announces mergers, relocations". 2014-12-06. Retrieved 2015-05-05. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b "Verizon Wireless consumes Golden State Cellular and Mobi PCS". 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  48. ^ a b "AT&T Completes Acquisition of Leap Wireless". Leap Wireless. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  49. ^
  50. ^
  52. ^
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  55. ^
  57. ^ "Plateau: Your premier telecomm provider for Eastern New Mexico and West Texas.". Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  58. ^ "AT&T scoops up 40,000 customers, spectrum assets of Plateau Wireless". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  59. ^ "Cricket, Pocket merge operations; joint venture said to boost South Texas prepaid wireless". The Brownsville Herald. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  60. ^ "PrimeCo customers head for Verizon". St. Petersburg Times. 2000-04-05. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  61. ^ "Sprint buys Revol's PCS spectrum licenses in Ohio as Revol winds down". 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  62. ^ "Regional wireless carrier Revol to shutter operations Jan. 16, Boost to pick up subs". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  63. ^ "Stelera Wireless Internet Folds In Southwest Kansas". 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  64. ^
  65. ^ "Westlink Wireless Gives Up". 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2013-12-18.