Comparison of Verizon and U.S. Cellular

By Brian Vaughan

Evaluate your calling habits before choosing between Verizon and U.S. Cellular.
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Verizon and U.S. Cellular are both wireless service providers that use CDMA technology, meaning that they don't use SIM cards to connect phones to their networks. Verizon is a nationwide carrier offered most anywhere, while U.S. Cellular is offered in about half of the United States. Each company offers different plans, phones and features.

Individual Plans

The entry level plan for U.S. Cellular allows for 200 minutes of calling per month. U.S. Cellular's most comprehensive individual plan is the Single Line Premium Plus, which provides unlimited minutes, unlimited messaging and five gigabytes of data. Verizon's lowest-level plan provides 450 minutes of calling, while their highest-level individual plan offers unlimited minutes and messaging.

Family Plans

The lowest family plan with U.S. Cellular is the Family Basic, which offers 900 minutes with no additional features. The highest-priced plan is the Family Premium Plus, which offers unlimited minutes, messaging, five gigabytes of data for each line and quicker phone upgrades. The basic Verizon family plan provides 700 minutes and no other features. The premium plan includes unlimited calling and messaging.


Verizon began offering the Apple iPhone 4 in early 2011. The phone features the iTunes media player, a touch screen and up to 32 gigabytes of storage space. Other highly-rated phones include the 4G Internet capable HTC Thunderbolt and touch screen Samsung Charge. The HTC Desire and LG Optimus are considered among the five best U.S. Cellular phones by CNET. The Desire has a touch screen and a 5.0 megapixel camera, while the touch screen Optimus has a 3.2 megapixel camera and the Android operating system.

Other Differences

U.S. Cellular customers are not obligated to sign another contract (even with upgrades on phones) once the initial contract expires if they are on a family plan. U.S.Cellular also gives points each month so you can redeem them for special deals. The points vary depending on the plan you have. Verizon's plans do not ever accumulate roaming or long distance charges when in the United States, while U.S. Cellular's plans do.