KEY POINTS:
  • TURN DATA ROAMING OFF.
  • USE Wi-Fi INSTEAD OF DATA NETWORKS
  • TURN FETCH NEW DATA "OFF"

CELLULAR PHONES

PUERTO RICO HAS A MODERN CELL PHONE NETWORK. WITH ONE MAJOR EXCEPTION, ALL THE MAJOR US CARRIERS ARE REPRESENTED AND OFFER DOMESTIC NON-ROAMING SERVICE FOR US SUBSCRIBERS WITH NATIONWIDE PLANS. AS OF 2014, AT&T HAS THE BEST COVERAGE ON THE ISLAND, WHILE T-MOBILE RUNS A CLOSE SECOND. SPRINT WORKS IN SOME AREAS, BUT IS NOT AS RELIABLE. VERIZON PHONES WORK, DISPLAYING "EXTENDED" WITHOUT INCURRING ROAMING CHARGES (YOU MAY HAVE TO ENABLE DATA ROAMING TO USE 3G). OTHER CDMA CARRIERS WILL ALSO ROAM ON CLARO OR SPRINT.

VOICE COVERAGE

ALL OF THE MAJOR METRO AREAS HAVE SOLID COVERAGE WITH ALL CARRIERS. FOR RURAL AREAS AND THE ISLANDS CULEBRA AND VIEQUES, COVERAGE IS PRETTY GOOD BUT CAN BE SPOTTIER THAN IN THE STATES AND YOU MAY FIND POOR OR NO COVERAGE AT THE BEACHES. AT&T IS GENERALLY REGARDED TO HAVE THE BEST VOICE COVERAGE, FOLLOWED BY SPRINT AND T-MOBILE, AND THEN CLARO (VERIZON).

DATA COVERAGE

T-MOBILE HAS 3G AND 4G DATA IN THE MAJOR METRO AREAS, AVERAGING OVER 1,500 KBPS, BUT THEY ONLY HAVE 2G OUTSIDE THOSE AREAS. PERSONAL HOT SPOTS WORK WELL FOR STREAMING AND OTHER USES IN THE 3G AND 4G AREAS. T-MOBILE'S DATA NETWORK HAS BEEN UPDATED IN MANY METROPOLITAN AREAS WITH HSPA+ AND MOST RECENTLY LTE SERVICE PROVIDING FOR FASTER SPEEDS.

AT&T HAS THE MOST CONSISTENT AND BY FAR THE FASTEST DATA COVERAGE ON THE ISLAND, WITH SOLID 4G LTE/HSPA+ AND 3G COVERAGE IN THE METRO AREAS AND 3G OR 2G IN THE RURAL AREAS. DATA RATES AVERAGE AROUND 500 KBPS ON 3G AND SPEEDS ON THE 4G LTE NETWORK CAN BE UP TO 10 TIMES FAST THAN 3G. PERSONAL HOT SPOTS WORK WELL FOR STREAMING AND OTHER USES IN THE 3G AND 4G AREAS.

SPRINT HAS COVERAGE SIMILAR TO AT&T, BUT THEIR DATA RATES AVERAGE AROUND 200 KBPS AND ARE BURSTY WITH A LOT OF LATENCY. PERSONAL HOT SPOTS DON'T WORK WELL FOR STREAMING BUT ARE OKAY FOR BASIC DATA.


TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THIS IS HOW CERTAIN US PHONE OPERATORS WORK AND CHARGE WHILE BEING USED IN PUERTO RICO.