The four major cell phone providers are AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Here’s some information on each of them, to make it a bit easier for you to decide on which carrier you want. Remember though there is a grace period during which you can test the service, see if you like the phone, and if you don’t, you can return the phone without revoking your contract (which would mean paying up to $350 in fines). I currently use Verizon and it is painful to see the bill, but it’s true that reception is always good. I’m considering switching to T-Mobile because of their no-contract plan.
- Depending on your plan you are allocated a certain number of minutes a month, minutes which are unused can be rolled over to the next month.
- It’s on the costlier side. They do provide the best devices and have stores nationwide.
- Service is good off campus, in Chicago, and in rural areas of the US.
- Almost everyone complains about reception on North Campus (Engineers beware of AT&T).
- If you already have an AT&T plan, you might want to wait until it ends, otherwise, personally I would AVOID it if you have classes or live in North Campus.
- Store is about a 10 minute walk, at the corner of Davis and Chicago Ave
- Excellent coverage (provides reception in Tech!!). By far the best reception.
- Could be overpriced depending on the phone/plan. Expect to pay at least $30-40 more per month compared to Sprint or T-Mobile
- Good customer service and excellent variety of devices
- Nearest store will be about a 10 minute walk, to the corner Davis and Orrington Ave. NOTE – You cannot change anything at that store except getting a new contract or phone
- The easiest place to go to for customer service is the store at North Michigan Avenue, about 7 blocks south of the Northwestern Campus on downtown Chicago.
- Probably the best option. Slightly worse reception than Verizon and Sprint, but impressive savings
- NO CONTRACT – Meaning you need to pay for the phone full price (or about $20 a month for 2 years) but you can cancel your service or upgrade your phone whenever you want to
- Savings of at least $50 a month compared to other unlimited data contracts (AT&T and Verizon)
- Reception is decent. T-Mobile is deploying its LTE-Advanced network in large cities (Including Chicago and suburbs) so it will only improve
- Access to wifi hotspots in hundreds of locations worldwide (airports, hotels, etc).
- Closest store from campus! Even closer than CVS!
- Sprint also receives reception in Tech and in the Norris basement, Reception is good
- Cost is pretty standard
- Website easy to navigate
- Changing phones is simple
- Android phones are awesome
- Customer service pretty good
- Store in downtown Evanston near the cinema and World Market
For more information about coverage at Northwestern check out: http://www.northbynorthwestern.com/2009/09/44830/north-by-northwesterns-cell-phone-guide/