Unspoiled, rugged. Awe-inspiring. These are just a few of the words you’ll hear used to describe Idaho’s landscape.
Much of the state is made up of soaring peaks, raging rivers and placid mountain lakes. The biggest city is Boise, with a population of only 650,000, and some lesser ones include Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene, which wouldn't even register as notable cities in some states. All of which is to say: Idaho is country.
Given the predominance of rural land, you wouldn’t expect the state to be exactly blanketed with cellular network coverage. Thus, it’s unsurprising that the state’s overall coverage score comes in at a fairly weak 41%.
Read on to learn more about which carriers provide the best cell phone coverage in Idaho, and where. That way, you can know before you go. After all, there’s nothing worse than being shut out of service on your way to go fly fishing on the Salmon, skiing on Baldy, or hunting in the Pioneers.
Coverage in Idaho At-a-Glance
Just like Idaho's landscape, coverage in the state has its ups and downs. Overall it's pretty good though, considering how much of the state consists of remote wilderness. Idaho earns a coverage score of 41 out of 100. Here's a full list of coverage ratings by state.
What we love
- Coverage from AT&T the best
- Coverage from Verizon and T-Mobile not terrible
What could be improved
- Sprint coverage not so hot
- Coverage always a bit tricky in deep valleys or remote natural areas
All four major carriers are well represented throughout the state, as are a multitude of smaller MVNOs that run on their networks.
AT&T has the widest network reach in Idaho, and takes the title for the best network in the state.
Verizon comes in second, and T-Mobile is in third. Sprint's coverage lags a bit, but customers can connect to other networks where Sprint has roaming agreements.
Best Coverage in Idaho by Network
|Network||Covered Area %|
Idaho has 320 zip codes, and the state's best network, AT&T, covers 58% of them. Here are the network rankings by zip:
Coverage in Idaho by Network & Zip Code
The most important part of the process is to ensure that the areas that you are located in and travel to are well-covered.
You can check your own coverage by entering your address here.
Coverage Maps Idaho
The maps confirm that AT&T provides the most robust coverage in Idaho, followed by Verizon. T-Mobile has o.k. coverage, while Sprint lags far behind. We break down the 3G and 4G network coverage below.
Coverage in Idaho (83,508 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
Idaho is broadly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. 3G is the network that some older phones run on, and the one newer 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network. is broadly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. 3G is the network that some older phones run on, and the one newer 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network.
Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Idaho
Did you know that there are dozens of small carriers that run on the major networks, but charge a fraction of the price for service? These companies are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, MVNOs for short. MVNOs purchase network service from the major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to consumers.
If you're interested in Verizon's coverage, for example, but are looking for a better deal, Straight Talk Wireless, Twigby and Red Pocket are just a few of the smaller providers you'll want to check out.
Click on the logos below to see which carriers run on which major networks:
Getting the Best Plan & Coverage
WhistleOut's new coverage check feature supercharges an already robust comparison engine by allowing you to instantly see what coverage is like at your location. All you have to do is punch in your address and we do the rest. This feature is the first of its kind, and empowers consumers to make better decisions when it comes to wireless.
In addition to showing you a map of your area with the coverage from all four major carriers, we filter through the available cell phone plans and present only those from carriers who provide good reception to you.