Best Phone Coverage in Montana: Cell Service in the Treasure State

Sara Nuss
August 3, 2023

Montana is a big state with a lot of beautiful flora and fauna, with large stretches of unbroken land between its cities and towns. A side effect of this: spotty coverage throughout the state. The major wireless providers have not attacked Montana with amazing upgrades as they have in other parts of the country just yet, making it especially important to find the best cell phone coverage in Montana. This article will focus on the big three providers and their strengths and weaknesses within the state. 

Our research found that Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile are the top three for best phone coverage in Montana overall. This article features detailed information on the following: 

  • Map of the fastest cell phone coverage in Montana
  • Local and national carriers that cover Montana
  • Frequently asked questions about phone coverage in Montana
Best Cell Phone Coverage in Montana || Source

Phone Coverage in Montana at a Glance

Lightning-Fast Data Speeds on Major Networks

Coverage varies throughout the state, and while the map shows a big mix of “best coverage” throughout the state, we’ve determined that Verizon provides the best coverage overall. We recommend searching for location-specific information, as all the major carriers suffer from slow spots throughout the state, and each has certain areas where it is better than the other two options. 

Local and National Cell Phone Carriers in Montana

The top three carriers in Montana are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. 

Moving to Montana is an incredible journey with a lot of beautiful sights to see and so much more. With the varied strength of service throughout the state, it is essential to have the best cell phone coverage when you move. In this article, we have listed the big three in order of their cell phone coverage in Montana, but each major wireless network hosts various MVNOs that piggyback off of the network while providing affordable alternatives for low-data users. Major Wireless Networks own and operate their cell towers. This means, in brief, that their plans cost more per month while providing faster data, higher limits, and a higher data priority. 

Mobile Virtual Network Operators, on the other hand, rent their bandwidth from the major wireless networks. While we did not highlight any in the top three, there are a lot of excellent choices that provide the same coverage you get on a major wireless network at a fraction of the cost. There are two main downsides to using MVNOs. One is that many only offer limited high-speed data plans, which does not provide sufficient data for someone who regularly uses their phone on mobile networks. The other is less data priority, which means MVNO customers receive slower data if there is ever congestion on the network. 

Verizon Coverage Map Montana || Source

#1 in Montana: Verizon Wireless 

Fastest 5G and 4G LTE in Montana

Verizon Wireless provides fantastic coverage in Montana. You will see, looking at the Montana coverage maps, that each provider has holes in their coverage throughout the state. Don’t worry! Their coverage is focused on areas with the greatest traffic, so towns, cities, and major highways have the strongest coverage. Verizon has long had the best coverage in Montana, and recently the other two networks have upped their coverage to match it. Verizon has recently deployed its first 5G Ultra Wideband towers in Montana, marking an exciting new phase in their coverage. Verizon is working hard to expand its 5G coverage, as this new mobile network opens up more bandwidth while providing dizzyingly fast speeds to everyone connected. 

Price: Varies

Plan: Verizon offers a pair of unlimited plans. One has unlimited high-speed data, and the other has unlimited premium high-speed data.  

Verizon offers two unlimited plans. 

  • Welcome Unlimited, priced at $65/55/40/30 a month per line
  • Unlimited Plus, priced at $80/70/55/45 a month per line

You have a lot of options when it comes to getting a phone plan with Verizon Wireless. You can start by picking your phone plan, picking a brand new phone, or using your current phone with your new plan. Once there, you can pick out how many lines you need and plan perks, if any. At this stage, multi-line plans are an exceptional boon. You and your friends and family will save big each month with three or more lines on a Verizon plan. 

The biggest difference between the two Verizon plans is the high-speed data. Welcome Unlimited provides unlimited data, but Unlimited Plus dishes out unlimited “priority” high-speed data. Whenever the network is congested, Verizon, and the other two networks, first slow MVNO customers and then basic plan customers to let premium data users enjoy max-speed data as long as possible. Mileage varies based on location. Big cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago often have congested networks from the high density of phone users, and other areas may become congested when events are going on or there’s an above-average amount of people nearby. We do not expect this to be a large problem in Montana, leaving the Welcome Unlimited plan as our favorite to deliver the best cell phone coverage in Montana. 

👍 What We Liked

  • Reliable Coverage. Verizon has 99% coverage in Montana, providing excellent service to all within the state. Verizon’s coverage, paired with its high-speed network, all but guarantees excellent coverage anywhere in the state.  
  • Family Plan Savings. The biggest con of Verizon is the price of their plans, and their family plan savings neatly cut the price of their plans. If you have at least three lines on the plan, it becomes much more affordable, but be wary of opening a line with Verizon if you are on your own. 

👎 What We Didn’t Like

  • Price. Verizon is expensive. Their plans provide great service, lightning-fast speeds, and lots of add-ons, but they come at a high price. If you aren’t able to find family and friends with whom to share the account, the price point of their plans is a hard pill to swallow. 
  • Customer Service. This is certainly not unique to Verizon, but their customer service does not always solve the problems ailing their customers. 
AT&T Coverage Map Montana || Source

#2 in Montana: AT&T

Best Cell Phone Plan Range in Montana

AT&T provides similar coverage in Montana with one notable difference. AT&T’s FirstNet network powers first responders all over the country, and during development, they constructed many towers off the beaten path to maximize connection. This means that AT&T users can connect further out into the less traveled parts of Montana, albeit with slower connection speeds. Their overall coverage and quality are not quite at Verizon’s level, but AT&T does provide some of the best cell phone coverage in Montana.  

Price: Varies

Plan: AT&T offers three unlimited plans at various price points. Their price is comparable to the plans at Verizon. 

AT&T offers three unlimited plans. 

  • AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan
  • AT&T Unlimited Extra Plan
  • AT&T Unlimited Premium Plan

Like Verizon, AT&T’s unlimited plans start at a high price point and become much more affordable with the addition of new lines. With three cell phone plans, AT&T has a basic plan with new bells and whistles, a medium plan, and a premium plan with many extras. 

  • AT&T’s starter plan has unlimited high-speed data with 3 GBs of high-speed hotspot data.  
  • AT&T’s extra plan comes with 50 GB of premium data and 15 GB of high-speed hotspot data. 
  • AT&T’s premium plan comes with unlimited premium data and 50 GB of high-speed hotspot data.

AT&T’s premium plan also comes with UHD streaming which is quite nice. It does mean, however, that the other two plans available at AT&T only allow SD streaming when on mobile data. In Montana, however, slower data speeds due to older networks do not always allow HD streaming. Just like with Verizon, we recommend the starter plan from AT&T, as their unlimited data is not as important up in Montana. If you notice, in your town and on your travels, that you often see slowed-down data, you can switch to a plan with premium data and compare speeds. 

👍 What We Liked

  • Large Network. AT&T has an excellent network. It is fast and covers an impressive area of Montana. AT&T is constantly working to improve its coverage and the speed of its network. 
  • Premium Data. While it is an unlikely occurrence, a surprise slow-down of your mobile service is quite vexing. The second-tier plan with 50 GBs of premium data works as a great bridge between their first and third plans. Be careful, however, because the 50 GBs are shared between every user, so it will go quickly.  

👎 What We Didn’t Like

  • SD Streaming. Cutting video streaming off at standard definition for the starter and the mid-tier plan is a tough sell for anyone who likes to stream video when on the move. 
  • Price. This is a common qualm with major wireless networks, but AT&T’s prices are steep. Overall, prices at major wireless networks are challenging to pay without multi-line discounts. Find some friends to take out an account together and enjoy serious savings if you can. 
T-Mobile Coverage Map Montana || Source

#3 in Montana: T-Mobile

Most Affordable Cell Phone Plans in Montana

T-Mobile’s Montana coverage is not as impressive as the other two major carriers, but they still have an impressive coverage range over this large state. T-Mobile prioritizes areas with the most traffic, leading to strong coverage in the cities, towns, and highways with weaker coverage the further you are from one of those locations. Dead spots and spotty coverage are unfortunately common, but there are many Montana residents who are satisfied with their T-Mobile coverage. While we rank it below the other two major wireless carriers, T-Mobile delivers some of Montana's best cell phone coverage. T-Mobile’s plans are contract-free and give you all the flexibility you need to determine your best choice. 

Price: Varies

Plan: T-Mobile offers three unlimited plans at various price points. While these plans are all very expensive, multi-line accounts save big. 

One of the differences in the plans is how much premium data each account receives. It starts at 50 GBs with their tier 1 plan, 100 GBs with tier 2, and unlimited premium data with tier 3. The starting 50 GBs of premium data is excellent, but we don’t expect it to come into play too much in Montana. This lets you start confidently at the Essentials tier and save on your monthly cell phone bill. 

👍 What We Liked

  • Large 5G Network. Of all the major wireless providers, T-Mobile is the winner in 5G network coverage. The extra max speeds of 5G networks are nice, but the best benefit, in our eyes, is the big increase in bandwidth. That means more devices can connect and transmit before speeds start to slow. 
  • Premium Data. Starting their plans with 50 GBs is a great feature that neither of the other major networks has done. 

👎 What We Didn’t Like

  • Phone Deals. T-Mobile has long been a fan of highlighting amazing phone deals locked to their most expensive plan: Go5G Plus. Keep an eye out for enticing deals, as they may lock you into spending more per month than you want. 
  • Spotty Coverage in Rural Areas. Although T-Mobile is constantly improving its network, they are the weakest in rural areas around the country. 
Visible Coverage in Montana || Source

Get to Know Your Local Carrier Options in Montana

Getting a cell phone and getting a new carrier plan whenever you move to Montana is essential to ensure that you’ll have the best coverage no matter where you are in the state. While the three major wireless carriers provide the best cell phone coverage in Montana, each one has many MVNOs that provide that same coverage, with less data, at lower price points. 

MVNOs can save you a lot of money on your cell phone bill, but many big carriers have a lot more perks, features, and deals with their plans. Here are our favorite MVNOs, one for each carrier. 

Visible Wireless — A Verizon MVNO

Running on Verizon’s network means Visible offers the best cell phone coverage in Montana and unlimited high-speed data for only $30 a month. This is an amazing deal, especially so for users who are opening a single-line account. Visible doesn’t offer any multi-line discounts, but they don’t need one at this price point. 

Cricket Wireless — An AT&T MVNO

Cricket is another great option for affordable cell coverage. Out of all the MVNOs, Cricket Wireless is most similar to a major wireless network. They also offer unlimited high-speed data, but their plan pricing is higher than Visible’s. To counter this, they offer impressive multi-line discounts, making their service much more affordable. 

Mint Mobile — A T-Mobile MVNO

Mint Mobile does not offer unlimited high-speed data, but they have four excellent plans for low-data users at amazing price points. Mint Mobile’s “unlimited” plan provides 35 GB of high-speed data before slowing speeds for the rest of the month, providing “unlimited” 3G data. 

There is a lot to love about Montana. You can enjoy it all the more when you have the best cell phone coverage in Montana through Verizon!

FAQ: Your Questions About Cell Phone Coverage in Montana, Answered

IS AT&T better than Verizon in Montana?

Verizon provides the best coverage in Montana, but AT&T is a close second with their combined networks. 

Does Verizon get service in Montana?

Yes! Verizon has the best cell phone coverage in Montana. There are dead spots in the countryside and in less populated areas, but the majority of residents enjoy spectacular coverage through Verizon. 

How to determine which cell carrier has the best coverage in my area?

The best way to determine which cell carrier has the best coverage in your area is to look up local reports and reviews of each service. While Verizon has the best cell phone coverage in Montana, there are many pockets where AT&T or T-Mobile reign supreme. 

TLDR; Verizon is your best bet for fast phone coverage in Montana

Use to compare! 

Montana is a beautiful state, and we hope that you are excited to move to this picturesque state. Verizon is your best bet for coverage, but if you want more info about plans available in Montana, you can compare carriers at to decide which phone carrier is best for you.

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.
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