Best mobile providers for students 2024


If you must know best mobile providers for students don’t worry, we support you. We compared loads of providers and their offers, including coverage, data plans and options for both contracts and pay-as-you-go SIM cards. What’s more, we’ve made everything as basic as we can.

In addition to the basic features found on almost every cell phone plan, many student plans offer additional benefits such as free trials and streaming memberships. These tempting extras mean that part of your decision comes down to whether you’d rather get Netflix or Spotify for free, which is of course entirely subjective.

Why you can trust our advice At Pocket Tactics, our experts spend their days testing games, phones, technologies and services. We always share straightforward opinions to facilitate you buy the best. Find out how we test.

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Here are the best cell phone providers for students:

Mint Mobile

Big savings for recent customers.

Mint Mobile Specifications:
Reasons for purchase

  • Cheapest data plans
  • Reliable network

Mint Mobile is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable cell phone providers in the U.S., thanks in immense part to owner Ryan Reynolds’ entertaining ads. It also uses the reliable T-Mobile network, offering 4G LTE and 5G coverage depending on your location.

For students, Mint Mobile plans offer some of the cheapest packages available on the market, especially if you’re starting a recent contract or porting your number online. However, most savings are based on an annual contract, so consider whether you can afford to pay your bills every month. Being a student is demanding, and the price of pizza is only going up.

Mint Mobile offers unlimited data contracts for just $30 or $15 for the first three months of service, or the chance to save money with 5GB/mo. data plan that costs $15 per month for a full year. There are plenty of contract phones available, including the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Compare Mint Mobile plans here.


The most reliable network and multiple data plans.

Reasons to buy

  • Nationwide coverage
  • Variable data limits
  • Great deals on change

If you have some money to spend and need someone you can rely on, AT&T is constantly working to provide the best 5G and 4G LTE coverage in the United States. No matter where you conduct your research, chances are that AT&T has the fewest dead spots on any network.

AT&T also loves recent customers, often offering huge savings when you start a recent contract or even when you bring in your venerable phones. You can make a ton of cash by simply swapping your venerable phone and number for a recent contract, so consider this if you have any venerable devices lying around.

The problem is that AT&T isn’t trying to be low-cost. They’re trying to be the best. Whether they achieve that is debatable, but they do offer premium service at a higher price. If you can afford to spend money while you’re studying, AT&T’s fantastic coverage, data plans, and phone options will ensure you never miss a message from home.

Check out our guide to the best AT&T phones here.

Compare AT&T plans here.

Xfinity Mobile Version

Fantastic data transfer speed and perfect for sharing with family.

Xfinity Mobile Specifications:
Reasons for purchase

  • Good for sharing with family
  • Reliable Verizon network
  • Free Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots
Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive plans
  • Low hotspot speed

Lesser-known Xfinity Mobile is a rapidly growing market, and most consumers learn about the company through its Internet and home phone packages. This is a good choice for students, however, because it’s very simple to add a cell phone contract to the mix. If your parents already employ Xfinity Mobile, adding a cellular contract to your plan is simple.

Plus, being on Verizon means that Xfinity has absolutely fantastic coverage, and with gig plans, you can split your data usage between multiple phones and/or family members. Do your parents already have a data plan? You can add another device and simply employ up their data allowance.

Another plus is the huge number of Xfinity Wi-Fi spots scattered across the United States, as well as the ability to set reminders in case your data runs out. Xfinity may not be the cheapest package, but if someone in your family is already connected, it’s a fantastic choice that could save you some money and the time of arranging your own separate contract.

Compare Xfinity Mobile plans here.


A reliable network with plenty of benefits.

Reasons for purchase

  • Streaming subscriptions added
  • International calls and texts
  • Roaming Add-ons
Reasons to avoid it

  • Not very versatile
  • Dear

While many smaller businesses employ Verizon’s network, sometimes it’s better to go to the source. Verizon is known for its excellent coverage and has unlimited data deals starting at just $25 — albeit with very few benefits.

If you’re moving somewhere out of the way and need to start your own streaming subscription, this is another area where Verizon is at the top of its class. It has fantastic packages that combine unlimited data with additional benefits like a Walmart+ membership, Apple One, or a Disney package (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN).

Basically, if you’re starting a recent life away from home and need a little independence, Verizon might be your best bet to start taking care of your own life. Unlimited data plans start approaching $50/mo, and almost all deals come with an annual contract, so make sure you can afford it before you commit.

Compare Verizon plans here.


A low-cost and cheerful service for students on a budget.

Reasons for purchase

  • Very low-cost
  • Reliable T-Mobile network

If you want T-Mobile coverage but for less, this might be your best bet. Trello uses T-Mobile’s network to offer fantastic 5G coverage across the US, but for much less. It also offers a variety of data and call customization options, in case you need to adjust your budget on the fly.

If you need to employ your phone and data all the time, Tello offers unlimited data plans starting at $29 per month. This includes 25GB of 4G LTE/5G data, 5GB of priority hotspot tethering, and then unlimited 2G data. If you’re running around town between classes and constantly need to connect your laptop to your mobile device, Tello offers a lot for little.

Tello also lets you personalise your family plans, giving each of you their own data and call or text limits. So if you want to stay on the same contract as your parents, this is a great way to get a bit of freedom without having to worry about doing it all yourself. Plus, if you’re not so concerned about data, Tello has some really low-cost packages that are perfect for anyone who just loves calling home.

Compare Tello mobile phone deals here.

How we choose the best mobile phone providers for students

When creating this list, we took some key tips into account. You can read our “How We Test” page for general notes on our process for creating these lists, but for this list in particular there were a few factors that helped us determine what to recommend:

  • Price list: Everyone has a different budget, so we want to include suppliers offering different price ranges, as well as suppliers with a versatile pricing policy.
  • Internet add-ons: What does your internet connection look like with your provider? We only want to include options that provide reliable internet access and provide larger data limits for those who need them.
  • Common plans: Do you want the service to cover your entire family? Or maybe all the students in your dorm? Well, we’ve included options for shared plans because they will be much more cost-effective for students on a tighter budget.
  • Additional bonuses: Many of the best providers offer perks like streaming services as part of your cell phone plan. Students need ways to relax, and these packages are often more cost-effective than simply buying both separately, so we’ve included providers that offer these little perks.

That’s all for today’s guide to the best cell phone providers for students, but if you need even more choice, check out our guide to the best cell phone providers that cover all your bases.

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