Homeowner content is free. We may earn a commission when you click links through our site. Advertiser Disclosure

Need a high-speed and reliable mobile internet service but are confused about finalizing between Spectrum Mobile and T-Mobile? Both are renowned names but differ in terms of plans, pricing, network coverage, and more.

I’ve used both services for about a month and noted their performance in several aspects to help you with your quest. So, let’s get going!

Key Differences Between Spectrum Mobile and T-Mobile

Internet Plans: Both service providers have three plans on offer. Specifically, Spectrum has 1GB, 30GB, and 50GB of data plans. T-Mobile, in contrast, starts with 50GB and the rest of the two plans have no data cap.

Speeds and Latency: The download speed for Spectrum Mobile ranges from 256 Kbps to 1 Mbps, while it’s between 256 Kbps and 512 Kbps for upload. In comparison, T-Mobile’s speeds range between 72-345 Mbps for download and 15-31 Mbps for upload.

Performance and Reliability: There are a few instances of signal drops with Spectrum, but the technicians are quick at resolving them. T-Mobile, on the other hand, has good uptime, and I didn’t face any outages during the test period.

Availability or Coverage: Spectrum is available mostly in suburban and urban areas, offering coverage to 42 states to 110.6 million people. T-Mobile serves around 120 million subscribers in the US.

Installation and Setup: Spectrum doesn’t require an installation kit, unlike when self-installing their cable internet. However, on T-Mobile, you’ll need a kit to complete the installation, which comes free of cost.

Costs and Contracts: With Spectrum, plans range between $14 and $40, while you have to pay a $10 activation fee per line. But by canceling the internet, you’ll be hit with a $20 fee. For T-Mobile, prices range between $90 and $180, while there’s a $35 device connection charge, similar to the activation fee.

T-Mobile, however, has an option to upgrade or downgrade the plan once a year as opposed to once in 2 years.

Spectrum Mobile vs T-Mobile: Detailed Comparison

Throughout the testing period, I used both services for multiple activities like gaming, streaming, video calling, and others under several scenarios to make a judgment. Now in the subsequent sections, you will find my honest and unbiased opinions regarding the two when I compare them on multiple aspects.

Read through them and make a smart decision!

Internet Plans

When it comes to internet plans and respective speeds, both excel in their way. Spectrum Mobile believes in offering decent internet speeds and data at affordable prices for everyone to access, but the data limit isn’t great.

Spectrum Mobile Plans and Pricing:

PlanDataPriceUSP
By the Gig1GB/line$14.00/GB/moAffordable plan for small families
Unlimited Data30GB/line$45.00/lineUnlimited talk, text, and data. Full speeds up to 30GB.
Unlimited Plus50GB/line$55.00/lineUnlimited talk, text, and data. Full speeds up to 50GB and free roaming in Mexico and Canada.

T-Mobile Plans and Pricing:

PlanDataPriceUSP
Essentials50GB$90Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with 50GB premium data
Go5G PlusUnlimited premium data$150Unlimited data + Netflix on US for 2-screen
Go5G NextUnlimited premium data$180Unlimited data + Netflix on US for 2-screen & upgrade available every year

As you can see in the table above, T-Mobile offers the best package at high prices. Their basic plan is priced at $90, but you get up to 50 GB of 5G & 4G LTE data.

The similar plan by Spectrum Mobile is priced at a much lower price of $55, but its compatriot has other high-priced options that come with an additional Netflix subscription and unlimited data.

So, it’s safe to conclude that T-Mobile is a great choice for people who need high-speed data without any limit and don’t have any budget constraints.

Spectrum is for people with a limited budget or who need the internet for their basic tasks, such as web browsing or making calls.

Speeds and Latency

Leveling the field, I used the 50GB data limit plan from both Spectrum and T-Mobile and performed the speed tests at varying scenarios. The tests were carried out on my trusted Dell XPS laptop using the Ookla speed test app.

But with the Spectrum Mobile, there’s a catch. It uses Verizon’s cell towers and its WiFi hotspots to provide coverage and reliable signal.

So, aside from the typical wideband 5G network with a maximum download speed of 300-350 Mbps, it uses Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, accessible only in limited areas with speeds as high as 1 Gbps.

On the other hand, T-Mobile utilizes the usual band with a maximum speed of 350 Mbps. Luckily I got access to the UWB network when I went to visit my uncle in Las Vegas, where practical download and upload speeds were measured at 931 Mbps and 45 Mbps, respectively.

Spectrum Mobile Speed

But if that’s beyond your reach, the 267 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload speeds are good enough for online gaming and streaming.

Moving, testing with T-Mobile 5G internet got me access to the respective download and upload speeds of 273 Mbps and 23 Mbps. It stays neck-to-neck with the Spectrum wideband 5G network speed but is miles behind the other.

T-Mobile Speed

Key Takeaway: Don’t think twice if you have access to Spectrum Ultra wideband network, but if not, or you need unlimited data, opt for T-Mobile.

Performance & Reliability

Talking about the performance, I tried playing Red Dead Redemption 2 with the available speeds, and not to mention, the experience was unmatched when I was in the Spectrum UWB zone. It even surpassed the equations with broadband by clocking around 13ms ping and 106 FPS, which is impressive.

However, there were a few lags and latencies when on either Spectrum 5G wideband or T-Mobile network, with values averaging 38ms ping and 51 FPS. But when it comes to streaming, the performance was great. I could stream UHD movies on up to 12 smart devices without any issues.

Other tasks like video conferencing, web browsing, and others went like a breeze. Now coming to reliability, both Spectrum and T-Mobile fared well in my tests, except the former went down twice in a week but was up in no time.

Key Takeaway: Overall, both share shoulders in this respect unless you’ve access to the UWB Spectrum network.

Availability or Coverage

Spectrum Coverage Map
Spectrum Coverage Map
StateSpectrum MobileT-Mobile
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Dallas
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Las Vegas
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Noth Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

T-Mobile comes as a clear winner in this respect with its availability in more states than Spectrum Mobile.

T-Mobile Home Internet Coverage Map
T-Mobile Home Internet Coverage Map

Costs & Contracts

Spectrum Mobile internet plans, as discussed earlier, are mainly meant for smaller families with decent internet needs. There’s a high-end plan, but it still costs less than the basic plan of T-Mobile.

What I don’t like about it is you must be a Spectrum Internet subscriber to be applicable for Spectrum mobile, and so canceling the former would result in a $20 monthly penalty per line.

Also, your download and upload speeds will be reduced drastically, and you can no longer add any lines to your account.

All these penalties and fees are permanent for Spectrum mobile customers and put a major damper on the experience if you ever wish to change internet providers. But if you decide to stick with it, you can reduce the costs by bundling the service with Spectrum Internet.

Despite charging high fees for its plans, T-Mobile has a lot for you to avail. It offers special discounts for first responders, 55+, and the military, where you can save up to $10-$15 on your monthly bill. It means the Essentials plan is available at just $55.

Not only that, with the Family Essentials plan, you just pay $105 for four lines or just $26 per line. Similar savings are applicable with four-line Magenta and Magenta-max plans. Besides, the high-end plans of T-Mobile come with perks like Netflix, Paramount+, Apple+ subscription, and others, which is an added benefit.

International Calling & Texting

Spectrum offers its mobile subscribers to make international calls to over 200 countries around the world. You don’t need to sign up for a different plan, as international calls and texts are included in the plan as long as you’re in the US.

However, rules are a bit different for calls to Canada and Mexico as you’re allowed only 2000 minutes per line before being charged a minute. On the other hand, T-Mobile lets you make calls to over 70 countries for free, provided you’ve got an add-on for just $15 a month. You’ll be charged per minute if you choose not to pay, and the rates vary from one country to another.

T-Mobile’s “Mobile without borders” is a special add-on that gives users unlimited calls and texts between the US, Canada, and Mexico. It costs you nothing if you have a Magenta or Magenta Plus plan, otherwise, you must pay $25/month for the add-on.

Additional Charges

As mentioned above, you must be a Spectrum Internet user to opt for Spectrum’s Mobile service.

Apart from the monthly fee, Spectrum doesn’t charge much extra, and its biggest standard charge is a $10 activation fee per line. Tablets with mobile data need their line, and you must pay a $10 monthly fee to add a smartwatch to your plan.

Similar to Spectrum, T-Mobile used to charge a $10 fee for a SIM from its users, but now, they ship a physical SIM card to you free of charge. Also, since there are no restrictions like its counterpart, you won’t be charged anything when you cancel.

Spectrum Mobile Unlimited vs Unlimited Plus

Spectrum’s Unlimited Plus has everything similar to its Unlimited Plan, with an additional HD-quality video resolution. The Plus plan costs $39.99 per line per month, while the other costs $29.99 per line per month.

Here are some fundamental differences between the two:

AspectSpectrum Mobile Unlimited PlusSpectrum Mobile Unlimited
Video ResolutionHD-qualityDVD-quality
DataIncludes 50GB data per month, with 10GB included for mobile hotspots.30GB data limit per month.
SpeedsHigher thresholds for faster speeds.Speeds are reduced upon exhausting the data limit (30GB).

Here’s what you get from both:

  • 5G and 4G-LTE access
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • WiFi calling
  • Mobile hotspot (after 5GB, speeds reduces to 600 Kbps)

Pros and Cons of Spectrum Mobile

Pros

    • Pocket-friendly plans
    • Savings with Spectrum Internet
    • Its ultra-wideband network is very fast
    • Available in many locations
    • Uptime is less

Cons

    • Applicable only for Spectrum Internet subscribers
    • Cancellation charge is high

Pros and Cons of T-Mobile

Pros

    • Performance is great
    • Special discount for certain groups of people
    • Free SIM and no cancellation charges
    • Family plans cost less
    • Comes with many perks

Cons

    • Plans are costly

Customer Service Experience & User Reviews

Spectrum has made strides in improving its customer service, but there’s still a lot left to be done. Its American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score stands at 64 out of 100 compared to an industry average of 66, meaning it’s a bit below par.

All being said, ignoring the numbers, I went on to call customer service, and to say honestly, the ride was bumpy at first but slowly became smooth sailing.

I had to wait and even call a few times to have a conversation with the agent, but it seemed he knew things and assisted me with my problem. If you need to reach them, take out pen and paper and jot down the details.

MethodHow to reachAvailability
Live chatMy Spectrum App/web GUI > Chat with us > Chat Now24/7
Call(833) 224-6603Monday- Friday 8 AM-10 PM ET
Email[email protected]24/7

The entire networking industry is struggling to serve its customers well, but T-Mobile is trying to change the landscape. When I asked other customers about that, they had mixed experiences, both good and bad.

But trust me, I tried calling and even visiting them, my experience was top-notch. The call was quickly transferred, and the agent was diligent enough to assist me and guide me through the troubleshooting process.

Besides, I went to the store to get help with the T-Mobile phone I ordered from their website. Although I managed to get there just before their closing time, they proactively got it solved in no time.

In short, I would ask you to visit the store to get the best possible experience. If not, write down the numbers:

General Help
For non-T-Mobile users611Monday-Friday: 8 AM – 10 PM ET
Saturday: 9 AM – 8 PM ET
For T-Mobile users1-800-937-8997

Here are some reviews from Spectrum Mobile users sharing their experiences with the service:

They didn’t pick up my call the first few times, but the allocated customer agent was polite, helpful, and professional. Got through my issue in no time.
Cheryl A
Coverage is great, but they must pick up their pace and establish themselves in other areas they currently aren’t in.
Dorothy M
Speeds were impressive, especially when I got into the vicinity of Spectrum UWB network. Downloads were quick.
Corine J
Overall, I am satisfied with the services, including speed and reliability. But I wish their customer service was a bit better.
Frances J

Here is what some of the T-Mobile users have to say about the service:

Customer service is amazing. I had trouble with data connection and issues with my phone. The agent was super helpful, empathetic, and professional.
Joel W
The plan prices are very high even after applying the discounts, and the customer service didn’t act very cool when I went with an issue.
Paul L
Speeds are great, not much downtime and customer service is helpful. Overall, great experience.
Julio Y
The online gaming on my PS5 wasn’t great, but I had around 24ms ping on my mobile games, which is great. Other internet-based tasks ran seamlessly.
Timothy B

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spectrum Mobile better than T-Mobile?

The Spectrum Mobile that uses the ultra-wideband network is three-fold faster than the T-Mobile, while its wideband network stays neck-and-neck with it. But it doesn’t have any unlimited plan on offer like its counterpart and potentially charges a cancellation fee.

Does Spectrum Mobile have a hotspot?

Yes, Spectrum Mobile customers have unlimited access to mobile hotpots without paying any additional charges. However, the download speeds potentially decrease to 600 Kbps after consuming 5GB of data per month.

Whose network does Spectrum Mobile use?

Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon’s network for its phone plans.

Do you have to have Spectrum Internet to have its Mobile service?

A user must subscribe to the Spectrum internet to qualify to have its Mobile service. You can even opt for its Spectrum One bundle that includes mobile, internet, and WiFi.

Does T-Mobile have good coverage?

The T-Mobile network is accessible to customers in over 50 major states in the country.

Conclusion

Both the providers turned out great in my tests, but choosing between the two isn’t as difficult as it seems.

Spectrum Mobile has the cheapest of plans whereas T-Mobile has got unlimited internet. At the same time, the former uses a super-fast UWB network but with limited accessibility. So sort out your needs, budget, and availability to make a decision.