Best Cell Phone Coverage in Michigan

22 September 2017

Thoughts of Michigan often conjure up images of urban areas, whether its bustling Motor City or smaller metropolises like Flint. However, as residents know, Michigan is also home to a great deal of natural beauty as well. 

Amazingly, forests cover over half of Michigan. It's also surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, boasting an impressive amount of shoreline. All of which is to say, there's plenty of opportunities for outdoor sightseeing and adventures in the state of Michigan. 

With so much natural territory, it's no surprise that cellular coverage in Michigan can be solid in some places, and patchy in others. This is is why it's important to find out which carriers provide the best reception to the places you spend time. 

Coverage in Michigan At-a-Glance

Coverage in Michigan is generally good, earning a score of 88 out of 100. Here's a full list of coverage ratings by state

What we love
  • Coverage from AT&T very strong
  • Coverage from Verizon also pretty good
What could be improved
  • Sprint coverage lags a bit, but not terribly
  • Coverage always a bit tricky in 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 Michigan, 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 Michigan by Network
NetworkCovered Area %

Michigan has 1,159 zip codes, and the state's best network, AT&T, covers roughly 97% of them. Here are the network rankings by zip:

Coverage in Michigan by Network & Zip Code
NetworkZip Code AvailabilityCoveredArea Covered m2Zips with 4G
Coverage data generated Q2 2017 from carrier maps

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

Numbers on a page are one thing, but the coverage maps tell the full story. Fortunately, you don't have to go to all of the carriers' websites to get this information--you can see what the coverage is like from the four majors below: 

Coverage Maps Michigan

The maps confirm that AT&T provides the most robust coverage in Michigan, followed by Verizon. T-Mobile has pretty decent coverage, while Sprint lags behind somewhat.  

We break down the 3G and 4G network coverage below. 

Coverage in Michigan (58,404 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
3G 56,723 47,792 42,590 32,756
4G LTE 48,129 50,615 43,287 29,838

Michigan 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 Michigan

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: 

Verizon Wireless
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.  

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