Comparison of Cell Phone Coverage - Sprint vs. Verizon

By Charles Roe

Updated September 13, 2017

Sprint and Verizon both have pros and cons with their cell phone coverage.
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Understanding the U.S. and international coverage pros and cons of Verizon and Sprint can help you to choose the right cellular service provider. Things like dropped calls, no signal or intermittent coverage issues are headaches most Verizon and Sprint phone users run into from time to time. Verizon and Sprint both have advantages and disadvantages in terms of coverage and cost.

Sprint Pros and Cons

Sprint has almost full coverage along the east coast, south and in the midwest, excepting many valleys and remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains. Sprint covers less area west of the Continental Divide. There are major Sprint dead zones in Colorado, Idaho and much of the Pacific Northwest. They offer only sporadic coverage in Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and Alaska. Sprint has affordable roaming packages, so if they do not have a good signal they can piggyback on another signal and this is free on all nationwide Sprint plans. Sprint has prime urban coverage and along major highways, as well as in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Verizon Pros and Cons

Verizon is the largest cell phone provider in the USA and thus has the best coverage. While their coverage map is certainly not complete – they also have fairly big dead zones in the various eastern and western mountainous zones – they offer adequate coverage in all of the western states including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho. They have the best coverage in Oregon and Washington, though their Nevada coverage is also lacking outside urban areas. Verizon has the best coverage in Alaska and also covers the urban centers of Canada as well. Verizon's roaming is on par with Sprint and is also free on all nationwide Verizon plans.

Sprint International Coverage

Sprint and Verizon both offer international calling plans and claim to have coverage in many different countries. Sprint has full roaming coverage in more than 25 countries, but the roaming areas are usually only around major urban centers except in Europe. Sprint offers frequent international travelers a reasonable Worldwide Coverage Plan and a specific Canada & Mexico Plan. Sprint has reliable exposure for major tourist destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and part of Africa.

Verizon International Coverage

Verizon claims to have coverage in more than 40 countries and offers a number of specific plans, including Wireless Cruise Ship coverage and destination specific plans. Their roaming rates for Canada, Guam, Britain and Mexico are comparable to Sprint, while their Occasional Global Traveller plan allows individuals and families the ability to sign-up for service in a specific country or region only for as long as they are traveling. Verizon’s Canadian coverage is the best in the country and they offer good packages for travelers in South America and Africa.