The 5 Best Business Cell Phone Plans of 2019
Choosing between business mobile plans and carriers for your small company just got easier: Business.org breaks down the data about the best cell phone plans.
Best Full-Featured PlansNo overagesUnused data rollover
Most Flexible PlansIn-flight texting and dataDIGITS® feature
Best Unlimited PlansUp to 20GB hotspotWide device choice
Best International PlansHD 1080p videoGlobal coverage
Most Inexpensive PlansNo contractsRollover data
You may remember a time when a company cell phone was a CEO-level luxury item, an era where slick dudes closed deals on yachts while talking on a brick-sized Motorola. Or maybe you just happened to catch The Wolf of Wall Street on cable over the weekend. Either way, that’s the past: cell phones are now everyday business tools, regardless of yacht access.
After you determine whether your small business needs a mobile phone plan—if you have more than a couple of employees working outside of the office on a regular basis, among other factors, you probably do—the next step is choosing a provider. Would the cell phone carrier that handles your personal mobile phone service work? Possibly, if it offers dedicated business plans; if not, don’t be tempted to save a few bucks with a “friends and family” type of package (unless you’re a very small operation). A true business cell phone plan offers the same options as an office desk phone, as well as unique mobile features—yes, including the connectivity to close a deal on a yacht.
Business.org reviewed and compared several business cell phone plans—plus a few other options not necessarily designed for business—and narrowed the field to five viable carriers.
|Brand||Starting price (per month/line)||Learn more|
AT&T: Best full-featured plans
- No overages
- Unused data rollover
- Data caps
- Pricey plans
Looking for a broad choice of bells and whistles? As a telecom behemoth, AT&T has plenty of cell phone features and packages to offer a business—around 20 plan variations, small to large. All plans include free US roaming, unlimited talk, and text messages, as well as unlimited texting outside of the country. Basic features like call forwarding, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and conference calling also come standard with all AT&T business cell phone plans, along with bring-your-own-phone support.
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—3GB||$50||View Plans|
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—9GB||$60||View Plans|
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—20GB||$120||View Plans|
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—30GB||$225||View Plans|
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—60GB||$375||View Plans|
|AT&T Mobile Share Plus—120GB||$615||View Plans|
AT&T’s Mobile Share Plus plans are its least expensive for business (starting at $50 a month per line), and you can get anywhere from 3GB to 120GB of data, with no overage charges if you exceed your data allotment. Just keep in mind that your plan data gets shared between all the devices on your plan, and AT&T slows down your speed to just 128 Kbps if you exceed your data limit. But hey—at least you don’t have to pay extra fees, right?
AT&T business plans can also accommodate up to 10 lines per account, and they come fully loaded with perks—like Stream Saver. This feature optimizes streaming video on your phone to 480p so you can watch webinars on-the-go without dealing with blurry picture.
Each plan also includes a decent array of iOS and Android smartphone options and even a few good ol’ flip phones. A 15% military veteran discount can be applied to the Business Unlimited plans, as well as AT&T-owned DIRECTV services (because, again, telecom behemoth).
T-Mobile: Best flexible plans
- In-flight texting and data
- DIGITS feature
- Data caps
- Expensive plans
Not sure exactly what you’ll need in a mobile plan besides future adaptability? T-Mobile, the third-largest wireless service in the US, offers four Magenta® for Business plans, all packed with unique features that set T-Mobile apart from the rest. The German-owned company has also earned a reputation for stellar customer service and was the first to eliminate annual contracts (an idea that stuck—none of the plans reviewed on this page require contracts). In April 2018, the company announced its intention to merge with Sprint under the T-Mobile banner.
|Magenta for Business—2 Lines||$60||View Plans|
|Magenta for Business—4 Lines||$40||View Plans|
|Magenta for Business—8 Lines||$30||View Plans|
|Magenta for Business—12 Lines||$30||View Plans|
All of T-Mobile’s Magenta for Business cell phone plans offer the same basic features:
- Visual voicemail
- One hour of in-flight Wi-Fi, plus unlimited in-flight texting (on supported airlines)
- 3GB of 4G LTE hotspot data, plus unlimited 3G hotspot data
- Unlimited talk, text, and data in the US, Canada, and Mexico (5GB cap on 4G LTE data)
- Unlimited texting and basic data in more than 210 countries, plus $0.25/minute calls within those countries
In addition, all T-Mobile Magenta for Business plans include DIGITS, which allows you to access up to five phone numbers on a single device. That means you could answer calls to your work number and your personal number on one device—no more packing two phones in your bag every day. DIGITS also lets you share your phone number across multiple devices, so you can answer on your phone, smartwatch, tablet, or computer.
T-Mobile users with Magenta for Business can also add the PlusUp add-on and get extra features, like Voicemail to Text, HD streaming, 20 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, caller ID, and double the data speed when roaming internationally.
Keep in mind, though, that T-Mobile’s Magenta for Business is only available on plans with two to thirteen lines. If you need more than thirteen lines, you’ll need t sign up for the 13+ Plan ($285 per month for thirteen lines, plus $25 per month for each additional line).
T-Mobile plans also allow bring-your-own-device convenience, or you can buy phones up front with a single payment (there are nearly 40 iOS and Android phones to choose from). As with Sprint, however, these offers could change if the two carriers’ merger goes through.
Verizon: Best growing business plans
- Up to 20GB mobile hotspot
- Wide device choice
- Pricey plans
- Spotty customer reviews
Serving over 150 million customers, Verizon isn’t just big, it’s BIG. Such a mobile mammoth might not seem like the obvious choice for a small business, but for what it lacks in a personalized customer service reputation, Verizon more than makes up for by offering every cell phone feature there is, as well as dominant US, and near-dominant global, coverage. Like McDonald’s and Marvel movies, Verizon is everywhere.
|Business Small||$35||2GB||View Plans|
|Business Medium||$50||4GB||View Plans|
|Business Large||$70||8GB||View Plans|
|Business gounlimited||$40*||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Business beyondunlimited||$50*||Unlimited + 22GB Premium Unlimited||View Plans|
|Business aboveunlimited||$60*||Unlimited + 75GB Premium Unlimited||View Plans|
While business owners can get business cell phone plans with limited data, we recommend choosing an unlimited plan if you have multiple employees (or do a lot of work via cell phone).
Verizon’s Business Unlimited cell phone plans are scalable from four employees up to and over forty. And with plans starting at just $40 per line, Verizon Business Unlimited plans are an attractive option whether you’re running a tiny company with no expansion plans, a medium-sized business with an eye toward growth, or a large enterprise with heavy cell phone requirements.
Verizon Business Unlimited plans also include unlimited mobile hotspot use, though your speeds are limited depending on your plan. Plus, you get unlimited calling and texting to Mexico and Canada—not to mention unlimited calling, texting, and data while in those countries. And naturally, you also get unlimited talk and text as part of your Business Unlimited package.
Verizon doesn’t skimp on device choices either. There are nearly 100 iOS and Android phones and tablets available—including the Verizon Jetpack, a mobile hotspot device that can connect 10 devices to its 4G LTE network and an additional five to 3G.
If your company requires truly “unlimited” cell phone service and scalability to grow and is in the position to pay for functionality with frills, Verizon Business Unlimited is the way to go. Bare-bones operations, however, might want to look elsewhere.
Sprint: Best international plans
- HD 1080p video
- Global coverage
- 5-line limit
- Potential T-Mobile merger
If you have employees conducting overseas business while on the go, Sprint covers it on any of its Business Unlimited plans. Sprint plans can accommodate just five lines, but they come loaded with features and perks—like a Hulu subscription or Amazon Prime membership.
(per month/ line)
|Sprint Unlimited Basic for Business||$60||Unlimited|
(5GB at 4G LTE speeds)
|Sprint Unlimited Plus for Business||$70||Unlimited|
(10GB at 4G LTE speeds)
|Sprint Unlimited Premium for Business||$80||Unlimited||View Plans|
Sprint Unlimited plans also give you discounts for each line you add to your plan, which ensures you’ll never pay more than $200 per month for your entire package. And on the Unlimited Basic plan, you can pay a flat $100 per month for up to five lines. Plus, you can choose between 40 different phones, ranging from premium iOS and Android smartphones to basic flip phones. There’s no way around it: that’s a steal of a deal.
Sprint Unlimited plans also include anywhere from 500 MB to 100 GB of LTE mobile hotspot data, unlimited talk, text, and data within the US, Canada, and Mexico, and video streaming in 480p or 1080p (depending on your plan). Plus, Unlimited Basic plans and up include a Hulu subscription, Unlimited Plus plans and up include music streaming on TIDAL, and Unlimited Premium plans include Amazon Prime membership and Lookout Premium Plus device protection.
But our favorite Sprint Business Unlimited feature has to be its Global Roaming feature. With Global Roaming, you get free text and basic data in more than 200 countries worldwide—perfect for companies doing lots of international business. Plus, you can make calls from any of those 200 nations for just $0.25 per minute.
That being said, things may change with a potential future merger with T-Mobile. But as it stands, Sprint’s business plan is one of the cheapest deals around right now—but it’s by no means of cheap quality.
Teltik: Best inexpensive plans
- T-Mobile 4G network
- 24/7 US customer service
- Unlimited music and video streaming
- BYOD-only plans
- International limitations
If you’re a strapped start-up, New Jersey’s Teltik can get you up and running on the cheap. Teltik is a reseller service operating on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, meaning it can offer the reliability and reach of a giant provider at smaller-company prices. Teltik also has the advantage of being completely US-based, with 24/7 local customer service that’s not outsourced overseas.
|Teltik Unlimited||$20||View Plans|
Teltik appears to have a dozen plans, but they’re mostly just variations of the Teltik Unlimited plan that offers all the expected basics. Not coincidentally, the features mirror those of T-Mobile, as they’re on the same network.
The most basic Unlimited plan starts at $20 a month and includes unlimited calling and texting, mobile hotspot service, and unlimited data—with a 2GB cap on 4G LTE speeds (meaning your speed gets throttled to 128 Kbps if you use more than 2GB of data in a month). From there, you can upgrade your plan to include more 4G LTE data and more mobile hotspot data. Upgraded plans cost anywhere from $30 to $55 per month, and they all include one cloud-phone VoIP line—perfect for small businesses looking to save on all their telecommunications needs.
One distinctly entertaining feature (pun intended) of Teltik’s business plans? You get unlimited media streaming from over 40 music services (including Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music) and more than 100 video services (including YouTube, Netflix, and any other channel you can think of). That means you can stream as much TV as you want without it eating into your data. It’s almost as if Teltik doesn’t want you to get any work done.
Another thing you need to know: Teltik doesn’t sell phones. Instead, the company operates on a strict bring-your-own-device basis. Any unlocked phone will work with its network, as will any T-Mobile devices, of course. However, you will have to spend $10 plus shipping and handling to buy a new SIM card for each of your devices (unless they’ve already got brand new, unused T-Mobile SIM cards).
4 more (non-business) cell phone plans reviewed by Business.org:
Boost Mobile Unlimited Gigs
Up to 5 lines; unlimited US calls, texts, and data. Plans start at $35 per line. View Plans
Cricket Unlimited Plan
AT&T network–based prepaid wireless provider. Plans start at $25 per line. View Plans
Straight Talk Unlimited Plan
Up to 5 lines; unlimited US calls, texts, and data available. Plans start at $30 per line. View Plans
Virgin Mobile Inner Circle
Up to 4 lines; unlimited US calls, texts, and data available. Plans start at $35 per line. View Plans
Business cell phone plan FAQs
What’s the advantage of using a cell phone plan instead of a standard phone plan?
If you have several employees working outside of the office on a regular basis, desk-bound phones obviously aren’t going to work for them. Some may be only calling and texting while others will be checking email, using GPS navigation, and accessing the internet for work, but a cell phone is a must for employees in the field.
Is a business cell phone plan better than a personal cell phone plan for work?
If you’re a one-person operation accountable to only yourself, you could get by with a personal cell plan. Keeping track of multiple employees’ hours, data, and providers, however, would be an extra headache you don’t need. For streamlining and collaboration purposes, a business cell phone plan would be the easier route.
How much data does a small business need?
Most of the plans we’ve reviewed here offer unlimited data—domestically, at least—so hitting the data ceiling won’t likely be an issue. But if you want to forecast how much data your business uses every month, providers make data plan estimators available on their websites. Or you could use a third-party calculator app.
BYOD stands for “bring your own device.” Another common term is BYOP for “bring your own phone.” These can mean that employees are using their personal phones, tablets, or laptops on their own carrier plans for work or that they’ve put those devices on the company’s plan. The upside? Less expensive than buying devices. The downside? Extra security concerns.
What’s a mobile hotspot?
In the annoying absence of Wi-Fi, you can use a cell phone signal to connect a wireless device to the internet by switching on the mobile hotspot option and simply treating it like a Wi-Fi router. For multiple device connections, a dedicated hotspot (such as Verizon’s Jetpack) can provide a faster, and more stable, connection.
Business owners weigh in
In a cell phone provider, I was looking for price and reliability. I shopped around quite a bit before making a final decision. We looked at budget providers as well as more mainstream providers like Sprint and Verizon. Although there are cheap options out there, I was just a little hesitant to pull the trigger since I’m not familiar with their brand and the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ scares me. I ultimately chose AT&T for my business because that’s what I use personally.
We switched from Verizon earlier this year to T-Mobile for better pricing and no surprises. Yes, overall, we’re pretty happy. We don’t see issues with dropped calls and such, and I love that we don’t get charged overages—the pricing is all-inclusive. Coverage and cost is most important to us, so the all-inclusive pricing is a real advantage, in my opinion. When you’re a business owner, you don’t want unexpected surprises.
Most businesses will have telephone work—some is completed ‘on the go’ and some near a computer. Creating a seamless experience keeps workflow running efficiently. I recommend small businesses consider a cell phone provider with apps that function on mobile phones as well as corresponding programs that re-create the mobile experience at a desk.
At the start, we were looking for a cell phone provideAt the start, we were looking for a cell phone provider with great coverage and affordable costs. A small business needs unlimited minutes and good enough service to keep calls from dropping. Our current provider is Verizon, and we have four cell phones in our plan. We’re happy with our service; Verizon provides affordable packages for business, and the service is excellent. The coverage is outstanding, and I rarely have a dropped telephone call.
Assess your company’s current cell phone usage, and projected future needs, before diving into any plan. What looks like a great deal could turn out to be more than you actually need—or you may have initially underestimated your business’s cell phone requirements. Also, if your company has both cell phone and regular office phone needs, check into bundling: the larger telecom providers offer both types of phone coverage, and bundling services is an easy way to save money in the long run.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.