Guide to Wireless Phone Plans
Compare Rates and Coverage Maps for Washington, D.C., Area

Details: Select a company to learn more about plans, offers and coverage (for AT&T Wireless, click Cingular).

Service Comparison by Locations:
Select a location on the map to see the test results.*

*Service was tested at each location from Oct. 7 through Oct. 14 by making five calls, lasting between 20 seconds and one minute each. If a call was perfect, it got a green rating. If the call went through but there was some static, even a minor glitch, it was recorded as yellow. If a call dropped or the network being tested returned a busy signal, it got a red.

Feature Comparison:
See how the companies stack up.
Real World
Real-World Costs
Prices for common usage patterns
Fine Print
Fine Print
Contract conditions, "night" and "weekend"

Beyond Voice
Beyond Voice
Messaging and web options
Reviewer's Notes
Reviewer's Notes
Our phone tester weighs in
More Coverage:
Articles, advice and online-only content from The Washington Post and

How to Make the Right Call on Cell Plans
Fast Forward's Rob Pegoraro writes that service can't be purchased on price alone -- first, pick a carrier, since not all offer the same service. It helps to start with the right questions.

When Cell Phones Go Bad
Up to 25 percent of wireless phones run into problems within the first year. But what then -- throw away an expensive device, or fix something that may soon be obsolete?

Rob Pegoraro was online on Nov. 1 to answer reader questions about the annual cell phone guide. Check out his advice.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company