Compare Mobile Data Coverage

During this holiday shopping season you might be considering purchasing a smartphone. While there are many factors about smartphones to consider, one of the most important is the mobile data coverage in the areas where are going to use the phone. If the phone can’t connect to the Internet where you are normally located, it won’t do you much good.

With four different carriers, it can be difficult to compare the coverage of each. A $.99 iPad & iPhone application called Coverage? helps by displaying the coverage of each carrier on a Google map. In the screenshot you see a comparison between the 3G coverage of AT&T, shown in blue, and T-Mobile, shown in Magenta. You can overlay the all four of the carriers, Verizon is red and Sprint is orange, but that quickly gets messy.

Coverage? does not include 4G coverage from any of the carriers, but hopefully that will come in future versions of the app. Keep in mind that the 3G view only represents where the carrier’s fastest coverage is available. All smartphones have the ability to connect to their networks at slower speeds, which means that they still connect to the Internet but not at the fastest possible speeds. When I enable the Roaming view for T-Mobile, I see that I can connect to the Internet with a T-Mobile phone from just about anywhere in the state of Michigan.