Find plans

Everything you need to know about Spectrum Mobile

Allconnect
A
Allconnect

Jul 28, 2020 — 6 min read

At Allconnect, we work to present quality information with editorial integrity. While this post may contain offers from our partners, our opinions are our own. Here’s how we make money.

  • Only available to existing Spectrum TV or internet customers
  • Spectrum uses Verizon’s cellular network, which has the best coverage of any wireless carrier
  • Offers an affordable unlimited data plan
  • Limited plan options to choose from

Spectrum has long been a cable TV and internet provider, but now it also offers mobile phone data plans. You do have to be a Spectrum customer already, either with their TV or internet packages (or both). Spectrum’s mobile plans are affordable and provide good network coverage. You can choose a by-the-gig option or an unlimited plan, depending on how much data you need and use.  

If you know how much data usage you’ll incur, you could go with one of the by-the-gig plans Spectrum offers. However, they also offer an unlimited plan at an affordable rate, so you do have options. Some mobile data providers put a data cap on their so-called unlimited plans. Spectrum does not. It is a true unlimited plan. 

Spectrum Mobile plans

Spectrum provides an affordable unlimited option at $45/mo. with good nationwide coverage, but you must be a Spectrum customer already with either their TV or internet service. 

Number of lines1GB2GB3GB4GBUnlimited
One$14/mo.$28/mo.$42/mo.$56/mo.$45/mo.
Two$28/mo.$28/mo.$42/mo.$56/mo.$90/mo.
Three$42/mo.$42/mo.$42/mo.$56/mo.$135/mo.
Four$56/mo.$56/mo.$56/mo.$56/mo.$180/mo.
Five$70/mo.$70/mo.$70/mo.$70/mo.$225/mo.

With Spectrum’s shared data plans, each line you add costs $14/mo. and comes with 1GB of data. But if you have more than one device on a plan, you’re sharing that data. So, if you have a 1GB plan and your spouse has a 1GB plan, then those are counted together on one bill. For example, if you use 1.2GB and your spouse uses 0.5GB, your plan will show the total of 1.7GB. Spectrum also rounds up their plans, so you’ll be charged for 2GB. If you go over and use 2.1GB, you’ll be charged for 3GB. 

As you can see from the table above, you may be better off using an unlimited plan than some of the larger by-the-gig plans, which is why we didn’t add the 4GB plan. You’ll end up paying more for it than you would an unlimited plan. It all depends on how much data you’ll be using and how many devices you’ll have on the same plan. 

Shared data plans

Spectrum’s shared data plans are perfect if you’re not going to be doing a lot of gaming or streaming. You can choose from 1, 2, 3 or 4 gigabytes of data per month. If you’re going to use more than that you can choose the affordable unlimited plan since you’ll be paying more for the by-the-gig option if you use more than 4GB. Only 4G devices are eligible for the shared data plans.

Unlimited plans 

Spectrum’s unlimited data plan is more affordable than most options at just $45 per line per month. The average cost per unlimited line at Verizon is $63, at AT&T it’s $59, at Sprint it’s $48, and at T-Mobile it’s $51.

Extra perks

Factor1-4GBUnlimited
Video streaming quality480p480p
Mobile hotspotIncludedIncluded
5G access
Talk and textIncluded and unlimitedIncluded and unlimited
Access to Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspotsIncluded and unlimitedIncluded and unlimited
Business or residentialAvailable to bothAvailable to both

If your phone is 5G only, you need to go with the unlimited plan. If you have a 4G phone you can choose from the by-the-gig plans or the unlimited plan. Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile hotspots are available for all plans, as is unlimited talk and text. You can be either a business or residential customer for these data plans from Spectrum. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there are no streaming plans included with the service. 

Spectrum mobile promotions and deals

Spectrum offers a trade-in bonus of up to $100, but doesn’t have a free streaming service included. 

Trade-in bonus

Spectrum offers a trade-in bonus. Trade in your old phone for a new one and get up to $100. If you bring your own phone you’ll get a free SIM card. You can also apply to get financing on a new phone, so instead of paying for it all upfront, you’ll instead pay a monthly fee until the new phone is paid off.

How do Spectrum’s cellphone prices compare?

If you need to buy a new phone with your plan you could end up spending more with Spectrum compared to other providers. Spectrum’s average price for eight of the most popular phones is $850. AT&T’s average phone cost is $653. Verizon’s average phone cost is $721. Sprint’s average phone cost is close at $843. Finally, T-Mobile rings in at an average of  $856. Depending on what type of phone you want, you might save some money elsewhere.

PhoneSpectrumVerizonAT&TSprint
Apple iPhone 11$700$700$350*$700
Apple iPhone 11 Pro$1,000$650*$1,000$1,000
Apple iPhone SE$400$120*$150*$400
Apple iPhone XR$600$600$150*$600
Apple iPhone XS$650$600$300*$600
Google Pixel 4$800$800$150*$800
Samsung Galaxy Note10$950$950$950$950

You can also bring your own tablet to Spectrum Mobile and receive a free SIM card or purchase a new Apple iPad Pro 11” second generation.

Spectrum Mobile coverage and speed

Spectrum uses Verizon’s network, so you’ll get a large coverage area with reliable speeds. 

Spectrum Mobile runs on Verizon’s cellular network, so you’ll get the same outstanding coverage and speeds that Verizon customers enjoy. There are a number of independent firms that test wireless networks, and most of them actually agree: Verizon (and by extension Spectrum) provides the widest coverage and most reliable connection of any carrier.

SourceSpectrumVerizonAT&TSprintT-Mobile
RootMetrics Overall Performance94.894.893.286.786.9
OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience9.79.79.38.28.7
Consumer Reports Data ScoreVery goodGoodFairFairVery good
Consumer Reports Reception ScoreGoodGoodPoorPoorGood

How is Spectrum’s 5G network?

Spectrum claims their 5G network is the most reliable and delivers the fastest overall speeds across the United States. Spectrum mentions that their 5G network is still expanding, but is currently available in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Boise
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Des Moines
  • Detroit
  • Grand Rapids
  • Greensboro
  • Hampton Roads
  • Hoboken
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Little Rock
  • Los Angeles
  • Memphis
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Omaha
  • Panama City
  • Phoenix
  • Providence
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • Sioux Falls
  • Spokane
  • St. Paul
  • Washington D.C.

Spectrum uses Verizon’s network, and its 5G network download (506.1 Mbps) and upload speeds (506.1 Mbps) are the best, according to OpenSignal. Spectrum has the fastest speeds on the 5G network because it uses the mmWave spectrum. It is soaring past the second fastest 5G network: LG U+ from South Korea, which has upload and download speeds of just 238.7 Mbps. 

How does Spectrum compare to other wireless providers?

Spectrum offers great coverage at an affordable price and true unlimited plan, but you might end up spending more on a new phone if you need one.

Spectrum’s unlimited plan is more affordable for one line than its competitors, but you must already be a Spectrum customer to sign up for one of their mobile plans. The prices of the new phone options with Spectrum are also slightly more expensive than competitors. That said, you’ll get access to the best mobile network in the country, so it may be worth paying a little more.

Spectrum Mobile customer service

You can contact Spectrum Mobile via phone or online in a chat. You can also visit a Spectrum store near you. 

Spectrum Mobile FAQs

Do you have to already have a phone to switch to Spectrum Mobile?

No. You can buy a new phone through Spectrum Mobile, but if you trade in your old phone for a new one you can get up to $100 toward your new phone. 

Can you upgrade to the unlimited plan after choosing a shared data plan?

Yes. If you find that you’ll end up using more data than you thought, you can also contact customer service and upgrade to the unlimited plan. 

What extra fees or taxes should I expect on my bill?

Spectrum includes regulatory fees and taxes in all of their mobile plans. There is also a one-time activation fee of $10. 

Does Spectrum Mobile include international calling or texting?

Yes and no. It provides free unlimited international texting from the United States and up to 2,000 free minutes when calling Canada and Mexico. 

Should you switch to Spectrum Mobile?

If you are already a Spectrum customer and pay more than $45/mo. for an unlimited plan, you may want to switch. Spectrum’s mobile plans have great coverage and the price is affordable. You can also choose a by-the-gig plan for $14 per GB. But if you’re not already a Spectrum internet or TV customer, there may not be enough incentive to entice you.

By Nicole LaMarco