Coverage differences between prepaid service vs monthly plan

A question I’ve always pondered: Why does there seem to be a significant difference in coverage between “prepaid” plans and “monthly” plans offered by the same carrier? I once had a monthly plan with AT&T which worked fine at my summer camp. I switched to a prepaid plan with AT&T and all of a sudden I had no coverage at the camp. I don’t think the tower fell down overnight. This was raised in a recent discussion regarding TMobile’s prepaid plan.

Hi @johng.6r5jad,

Simply put some of the cellular network owners (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, etc.) choose to restrict or otherwise hinder coverage offered to their prepaid customers. Such hinedrence might come in the form of no domestic roaming coverage or reduced prioritization of network resources. Postpaid customers generally pay more and are more profitable to the providers offering postpaid plans.

In any event, none of this applies to Republic. Republic offers prepaid service (whether paid annually or monthly). Republic does not own its own cellular network. Republic has said its agreements with its cellular network partners offer the same coverage as those partners offer their own postpaid customers for talk and text. Republic does not offer data roaming other than on its grandfathered legacy plans. In my experience, what Republic has said about its agreements has proven accurate.


I suspect that you were roaming at the camp and that went away when you switched plans.

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This “difference in coverage” could fall under this related topic discussion, if by “Monthly” plan, u mean post paid .

Possibly. So roaming would not have been included in the prepaid plan?

Most prepaid plans offer no roaming. A few include talk & text roaming,

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